Harriet Jenner is just twenty-one when she walks through the gates of Fenix House. Reeling from a personal tragedy, she doesn't expect her new life as a governess to be easy. But she certainly doesn't foresee the spell Fenix House will cast. Almost fifty years later, Harriet's granddaughter Grace follows in her footsteps. For Grace, raised on Harriet's mesmerizing stories, Fenix House is a fairy tale; a magical place suspended in time. Now its grandeur is faded and, as the holes start to appear in Harriet's story, Grace finds herself in a place of secrets and shadows. For Fenix House hides truths about her family, and everything she thought she knew is about to change.
I was immediately drawn in by this beautifully written tale. I loved the sense of intrigue and the air of mystery at Fenix House, and was itching for answers as the two narratives unfolded Dinah Jefferies, author of The Tea Planter's Wife A perfect gothic, big-house mystery that kept me turning the pages. Very well written - I really enjoyed it Katherine Webb It's wonderful - the dark suspense and evocative descriptions are perfect -- Liz Fenwick, author of Under a Cornish Sky The parallel stories of Fenix House governess Harriet Jenner and her granddaughter Grace had me absolutely gripped. Intelligent, poignant, unexpected: highly recommended Louise Candlish Beautifully written and utterly compelling, I loved this Katie Fforde Gorgeously written - I was instantly drawn in to the mysteries of Fenix House and Kate's evocative storytelling held me rapt until the very end. Lucy Diamond The parallel stories of Fenix House governess Harriet Jenner and her granddaughter Grace had me absolutely gripped. Intelligent, poignant, unexpected: highly recommended -- Louise Candlish, author of The Swimming Pool Full of dark intrigue, rich description and haunting secrets, this kept me reading and reading! Beautifully written and compelling until the end. I adored it -- Sasha Wagstaff, author of Recipe For Love Headily atmospheric Victorian gothic detail brings to life the house which holds secrets and memories in its dim rooms, and conjures up a world of hot house flowers and stifled passions. Certain images stay with you - Riordan richly juxtaposes a measured, scientific world of steam trains, comets and clocks with the wild: flooded quarries, ice storms, and the irresistible desire for love and revenge which defies rationality. It's all in the detail - jewelled Indian daggers, sunlight on red gold hair, claustrophobic mazes and ice houses, and mysterious sounds in the night. From the utterly gripping prologue, The Shadow Hour transports you back in time, and shows how a few minutes here or there can catastrophically change a life -- Kate Lord Brown, author of The Christmas We Met Rich and atmospheric, like Rebecca this novel casts an enduring spell Rachel Hore, Sunday Times bestselling author Full of slow-burning tension Essentials A sweeping saga of secrets and ghosts Good Housekeeping A well executed, brooding, creepy atmosphere Sunday Mirror A prickly story full of tension Sunday Express
Kate Riordan is a writer and journalist. Her first two novels, The Girl in the Photograph and The Shadow Hour, are also published by Penguin. She lives in the Cotswolds, where she writes full-time.