'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'Daily Express 'Part historical pastiche, part gothic horror, this is an ambitious and stylistically bold 18th-century adventure with shades of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell'SFX'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' GuardianWHO 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?