Selected as The Times Book of the Month, November 1016.
A bewitching novel about an enigmatic silent film actress, and the volatile love affair that left her a recluse for over half a century – for fans of Sarah Waters and Tracy Chevalier.
During the oppressive heat wave of 1976 a young journalist, Ed Peters, finds an Edwardian photograph in a junk shop in a seaside town. It shows an alluring, dark-haired girl, an actress whose name was Leda Grey.
Enchanted by the image, Ed learns that Leda is still alive, a recluse in the crumbling cliff-top house she once shared with a man called Charles Beauvois, a director of early silent film. As Beauvois’s muse and lover, Leda starred in eerie films where stage magic and trick photography were used to astonishing effect. But, while playing a cursed Egyptian queen, the fantasies captured on celluloid were echoed in reality, leaving Leda abandoned and alone for more than half a century – until the secrets of her past result in a shocking climax, more haunting than any to be in found in the silent films of Charles Beauvois.
‘A richly evocative story, brimming with intrigue and suspense’ M.L. Stedman, author of THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS
‘Fans of Daphne du Maurier will love this haunting, atmospheric novel about a silent film actress. I was hooked from P1.’ Jane Harris, author of The Observations, Gillespie and I, and Sugar Money.