'The most vivid and compelling portrait of late Victorian London since The Crimson Petal and the White' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex SerpentFor fans of The Essex Serpent and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, a story of snow and Spiriters, cops and columnists, wickedness and love in Victorian London.
'Ladies and gentlemen, the darkness is complete.'
It is the winter of 1893, and in London the snow is falling.
It is falling as Gideon Bliss seeks shelter in a Soho church, where he finds Angie Tatton lying before the altar. His one-time love is at death's door, murmuring about brightness and black air, and about those she calls the Spiriters. In the morning she is gone.
The snow is falling as a seamstress climbs onto a ledge above Mayfair, a mysterious message stitched into her own skin. It is falling as she steadies herself and closes her eyes.
It is falling, too, as her employer, Lord Strythe, vanishes into the night, watched by Octavia Hillingdon, a restless society columnist who longs to uncover a story of real importance.
She and Gideon will soon be drawn into the same mystery, each desperate to save Angie and find out the truth about Lord Strythe. Their paths will cross as the darkness gathers, and will lead them at last to what lies hidden at the house on Vesper Sands.
Rarely does a writer stop you so fully in your tracks - Sunday Independent on THE MAKER OF SWANS
A gloriously unorthodox confection, part Wilkie Collins, part Conan Doyle, with a generous handful of police procedural and a splash of Stella Gibbons's Cold Comfort Farm. Both disquietingly eerie and impossible to read without laughing out loud ... A cracking good read. - Guardian
Like George Eliot, Paraic O'Donnell takes the bombastic and the sincere and throws them together for comic contrast; like Dickens, he does it in deliciously dark Victorian style. The House on Vesper Sands is an eerie, raucous novel, packed with pathos and wit. Read it!
The prose in O'Donnell's first novel is glorious, combining an ear for deep cadences of language with a phenomenal acuity of vision ... O'Donnell is clearly a major talent - GUARDIAN on THE MAKER OF SWANS
Truly bewitching - David Mitchell on THE MAKER OF SWANS
A page-turner in the very best sense of the term ... a deeply pleasurable gothic fantasy - Financial Times on THE MAKER OF SWANS
Lavishly entertaining, strange and captivating - INDEPENDENT on THE MAKER OF SWANS
Enthralling ... a literary feast - Stylist on THE MAKER OF SWANS
Paraic O'Donnell is a writer of fiction, poetry and criticism. His essays and reviews have appeared in the Guardian, The Spectator, the Irish Times and elsewhere. His first novel, THE MAKER OF SWANS, was named the Amazon Rising Stars Debut of the Month for February 2016 and was shortlisted for the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards in the Newcomer of the Year category. He lives in Wicklow, Ireland with his wife and two children.
http://paraicodonnell.com | @paraicodonnell