A dramatic, gothic mystery with an air of menace, from an award-winning author.
I am the girl with no name ... I have a secret I must never tell. If I do, they will come after me - the Protector and his men.
Only a number branded on her arm betrays the orphan girl's past. When she arrives at Murkmere Hall to be a kitchen maid, they call her Scuff, and little guess she has committed a terrible crime. Haunted by her dark secret, all Scuff can do is pray to the divine beings - the birds - for forgiveness.
Now, five years later, the past is catching up with Scuff. Hunted from all sides, she flees Murkmere, only to be forced back to the cruel confines of the Capital, and the Orphans' Home where it all began.
Set in the capital city, this has a very different feel from Murkmere, but is still grounded in the bird tradition, superstition and religion that haunts the first book.
This is a beautiful, compelling novel. - Guardian
Murkmere: 'Fraught with fenland mist and magic, this supernatural thriller ... is compassionate and original.' - The Times
Compelling ... a salutary reminder to keep an eye on the children's bookshelves. - SFX magazine
The Ice Boy: 'A remarkable first novel ... here is a writer whom you can trust.' - Armadillo
Elliott is one of [the Fidler Award's] worthiest winners. This atmospheric debut novel [is] heavy on Kleenex - The Glasgow Herald
The standard of writing displayed by the winners of the Fidler Award is high, and The Ice Boy is no exception. - Writers' News
Patricia Elliott was born in London, but grew up in Europe and the Far East. A voracious reader since childhood 'where she had the resources of ten different school libraries', she also made up ghost stories to scare her friends! As an adult, she worked in publishing in London and in a children's bookshop in New York. She now teaches a course in children's literature at an adult education college, and is writing further novels. She lives in Barnes with her husband and two sons. Her first book, The Ice Boy, won the Fidler Award for a first novel, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and the West Sussex award. Her second novel, Murkmere, was longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.