Big Engine (UK), July 2001
A novel of social comedy, gothic horror and fantasy set in England, 1955.
England, 1955. Harriet Locke accepts an invitation to the seaside mansion of Shadow Black and looks forward to joining her fiancÚ Mark Vardell, the handsome avant-garde artist who is painting the reclusive Lord Harrowblest. Her life is about to change, and change forever, in a household of bizarre characters bound together by ties of deceit, lust and half-truths.
At Shadow Black, Harriet meets Yardley Urban, faded Hollywood goddess, and Cora Van Voyd, elderly, seven-times-married gossip and grande dame. There is crippled, embittered media mogul Lord Harrowblest and his faithful servant Collidge; pathetic, drunken songwriter Jellicoe Travers; Milly, the hare-lipped parlourmaid; and Toby Chance, the lonely fifteen-year-old science fiction fan who somehow links them all together.
And then there is Mr Vox, mysterious agent of a force that will tear away the veils of deceit from Shadow Black, and from Harriet too, in a climax that boldly mingles fantasy, social comedy and gothic horror.
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