Synopses & Reviews
A runaway bestseller in Britain with over 100,000 copies sold, a riveting historical mystery in the tradition of Kate Morton
Auction house appraiser Jude leaves London for her dream job at Starbrough Hall, an estate in the countryside, examining and pricing the manuscripts and instruments of an eighteenth-century astronomer. She is welcomed by Chantal Wickham and Jude feels close to the old woman at once: they have both lost their husbands. Hard times have forced the Wickham family to sell the astronomer's work, their land and with it, the timeworn tower that lies nearby. The tower was built as an observatory for astronomer Anthony Wickham and his daughter Esther, and it served as the setting for their most incredible discoveries.
Though Jude is far away from her life in London, her arrival at Starbrough Hall brings a host of childhood memories. She meets Euan, a famed writer and naturalist who lives in the gamekeeper's cottage at the foot of the tower, where Jude's grandfather once lived. And a nightmare begins to haunt her six-year-old niece, the same nightmare Jude herself had years ago. Is it possible that the dreams are passed down from one generation to the next? What secrets does the tower hold? And will Jude unearth them before it's too late?
"Sumptuous prose, deft plotting, lush settings, troubling personal histories, tragedy, heady romance and even a smattering of 18th century scientific wonderment mark Hore's fourth novel as her most accomplished and enthralling yet."--Daily Mirror
"Hore once again shows her gift for bringing the past to life: her understanding of memory, stories and craft is as strong here as in The Memory Garden
."--Waterstone's Books Quarterly
"Rachel Hore's intriguing Richard and Judy recommended read, which is layered with a series of mysteries, some more supernatural than others."--Independent
A runaway bestseller in Britain with more than 100,000 copies sold, a riveting historical mystery in the tradition of Kate Morton
The night before it all begins, Jude has the same nightmare that haunted her as a child: running through a dark forest, crying for her mother. Now her six-year-old niece, Summer, is having the same dream, and Jude is frightened for her.
A successful auctioneer, Jude is struggling to come to terms with the death of her husband. When she's asked to value a collection of scientific instruments and manuscripts belonging to Anthony Wickham, a lonely eighteenth-century astronomer, she leaps at the chance to escape London for the untamed beauty of Norfolk, where she grew up. As Jude untangles Wickham's tragic story, she discovers threatening links to the present.
What do Summer's nightmares to have do with Starbrough folly, the eerie crumbling tower in the forest from which Wickham and his adopted daughter, Esther, once viewed the night sky? With the help of Euan, a local naturalist, Jude searches for answers in the wild, haunting splendor of the Norfolk woods. Dare she leave behind the sadness in her own life and learn to love again?
Rachel Hore's A Place of Secrets is a triumph.
About the Author
Rachel Hore is the author of four novels including the critically acclaimed The Glass Painter's Daughter and The Memory Garden. worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she teaches publishing at the University of East Anglia. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons.