Mystery

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By John Harwood

“Harwood, grasp of creeping Victorian horror, does it back . . . Twisted in each experience of the observe and fantastically atmospheric.”—Booklist

Confused and disoriented, Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon condo, a distant asylum in England. She has no reminiscence of the prior few weeks. The general practitioner, Maynard Straker, tells her that she admitted herself lower than the identify Lucy Ashton, then suffered a seizure. whilst she insists he has improper her for somebody else, Dr. Straker sends a telegram to her uncle, who replies that Georgina Ferrars is at domestic with him in London: “Your sufferer has to be an imposter.” without warning her voluntary confinement turns into involuntary. who's the lady in her uncle’s apartment? Georgina’s perilous quest to unfastened herself takes us from a cliffside cottage at the Isle of Wight to the key passages of Tregannon apartment and right into a internet of hidden relatives ties on which her survival depends.

“Redolent with a feeling of foreboding . . . This gothic story will sweep you up into the very center of Victorian England. A wonderful read!”—Historical Novel Society, Editors’ Choice

“A richly textured . . . [and] masterfully developed narrative . . . Readers are assured a completely diverting time in Harwood’s not-to-be-trusted hands.”—The Independent (UK)

“The crisp prose and twisty plot will inspire many to learn this in a single sitting.”—Publishers Weekly

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You’ll have a couple of hundred a 12 months. Sorry it’s no more, yet part our source of revenue dies with me simply because I by no means married. And there’s approximately 200 capital, in belief out of your mom. The cottage used to be to be yours, and every thing in it—no use now. in case you visit Josiah, you’ll manage to shop a piece. perhaps locate an occupation—we’ve talked of it usually enough—more probability for you in London. “Our solicitor’s identify is Wetherell—Charles Wetherell, in George road, Plymouth. while I’m long gone, write to him. I’ve named Josiah as your guardian—has to be someone—told him to allow you to do as you please. “Now—marriage. you recognize what i believe, yet you’re a good-looking gel, unlike i used to be. You’ll have bargains. in case you settle for somebody, write to Mr. Wetherell—tell him who you’re marrying. Papers to attract up—he’ll let you know what’s wanted. ” She slid again among the pillows, respiring difficult, and closed her eyes. i couldn't convey myself to disturb her, and 3 days later she was once lifeless. I arrived at Gresham’s backyard in the course of a fog that might final one other 3 weeks. i used to be used to the light mists that drifted approximately our residence at the cliffs, and that i had vaguely assumed that fog used to be an identical, simply denser. yet this used to be altogether assorted: noxious, weighted down with soot, a dismal, greasy yellow by way of day, pitch-black via evening, clutching on the throat and choking the lungs. My uncle cheerfully expert me that this was once not anything in comparison to the fog of 2 winters earlier than, which had all started in November and lasted till the next March. or even whilst it lifted, the streets remained shrouded, both in smoke or riding rain: I woke every one morning feeling as though I had inhaled a lungful of coal dirt, and that i was once continuously catching chilly. My spirits, desolate adequate while I arrived, sank reduce because the weeks dragged on. My uncle was once purely in bookselling, and because his strong point used to be imprecise theological works, there has been little to communicate approximately. To any query approximately our relations, his invariable answer was once, “You recognize, Georgina, it was once this sort of very long time in the past; i actually can’t recall,” until eventually I gave up asking. What I had taken for benign approval was once fairly benign indifference, an absolute loss of curiosity in whatever past the confines of his store. because the days lengthened, and that i started to enterprise outside, i found that every thing sounded louder, and smelt worse, than I had ever imagined; my nostrils have been regularly assailed via the stench of dung and drains, decaying meat and rotting fish, my ears deafened by means of the clatter of hooves and the cries of road proprietors; but the sheer extremity of sensation used to be a aid from the oppression of the home. In my wanderings via Bloomsbury, i used to be regularly surprised at how fast the scene may well swap, from the grand homes in Bedford sq. to wretched tenements a trifling hundred paces away. the 1st time I observed a guy sprawled useless under the influence of alcohol within the gutter, with passersby taking not more detect of him than of a sack of coals—far much less, certainly, for the coals may were carried off at once—I questioned if it was once my responsibility to assist him.

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