The Infernal Riddle of Thomas Peach
The year is 1785, and Thomas Peach, a gentleman of modest means, moves to a small village in the West Country, bringing with him a steamer chest of clothes, some books – and, apparently, his wife, Mrs Peach, who quickly becomes a source of fascination and suspicion to the villagers. Why is she never seen abroad? Why does Mr Peach refuse entry to her bedroom to their maidservant, who is unable to detect even a whisper of breath at Mrs Peach’s door, try as she might? Does Mrs Peach even exist? And if so, is she the victim of her husband’s cruelty? A liberal and free thinker, Mr Peach is a member of a society of learned men in Bristol, one of whom is guardian of a young woman believed to be possessed by a demon.
'Treadwell's book is a magnificent pastiche of 18th-century fiction'
The Sunday Times
'Tristram Shandy meets Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in a novel that addresses dark disturbing themes with tremendous wit, charm and elegance'
'Part historical pastiche, part gothic horror, this is an ambitious and stylistically bold 18th-century adventure with shades of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell'
'Treadwell's book entertains and impresses . . . He must be heartily congratulated both for performing an extraordinary feat of literary ventriloquism and also for reminding us what historical fiction does best: create an entirely convincing vanished world while also using that world as a lens through which to view the present day'
WHO IS THOMAS PEACH?
Ah, reader! -- if you would have us answer THAT question -- What mysteries you shall compel us to expose!
It is the year 1785, and a gentleman of modest means has left London for the countryside, to look after his ailing wife.
Among his new neighbours, tongues begin to wag. Why does he keep a locked chest under the stairs? Is it really full of forbidden books? And what exactly is the matter with his wife?
For the most part, though, the couple live in peace -- until a letter arrives, threatening to cut off their livelihood and expel them from their home.
Faced with the prospect of penury -- and perhaps worse -- the gentleman rides out in search of some means to save himself.
But fate has other plans for Thomas Peach.
A bizarre request brings an encounter with a mysterious young woman, raised from infancy as a rich man's ward, now condemned to the madhouse. As their paths become disturbingly entangled, Mr Peach begins to suspect that in her past lies a dreadful secret . . .
Dreadful indeed! -- Yet however fearful the poor child's history -- can her secret be darker, than HIS OWN?
|Dimensions||198 × 128 × 36 mm|
1st paperback ed
General – Trade / Code: K