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The Chimney Sweeper's Boy

352 pages7 hours


A daughter’s research into her father’s life unearths shocking family secrets in this “frightening” novel (Express on Sunday).
After celebrated English author Gerald Candless dies of a heart attack at his clifftop home above Gaunton Dunes in Devon, his eldest daughter, Sarah, is commissioned to write his biography. Ever-present in her life, her father was generous, passionate, and talented, yet always a bit of a mystery. Who’s to blame for his chilly relationship with her mother that seemed to survive something unspoken? Why, in each successive novel, did he seem to reinvent himself, never settling for one public persona? What of his odd little parlor games for which only he knew the rules and purpose? And was it really true that he had no living relatives?
What begins as an admiring project becomes an obsession. For Sarah’s first discovery is a stunner: Gerald Candless was not his real name. The more she uncovers, the deeper Sarah’s fear and fascination grows. Her father’s life was nothing more than an ingeniously plotted work of fiction. As each lie gives way to another, her journey into the past of a familiar stranger gets so dark that seeing the truth could be last thing she wants.
From the New York Times–bestselling author of Dark Corners and three-time Edgar Award winner comes a novel “about the power of taboos, transgressions, guilts, deceptions, horrors, atonements, upsets and upheavals” (Independent). And it’s “as jolting as a flash of lightning” (Sunday Times).

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