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The Stranger House


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Key title A stunning new psychological thriller set in past and present-day Cumbria from the award-winning author of the Dalziel and Pascoe series Huge marketing campaign to back one of Reginald Hill's most brilliant novels and to recruit new readers. The last three Dalziel and Pascoe novels have been Top Ten bestsellers in hardback and paperback, and have sold over 50,000 copies in hardback. The massively successful BBC1 Dalziel and Pascoe TV series will continue until at least 2006. Gold and Diamond Dagger Award winner Competition: P.D James, Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell

About the Author

Reginald Hill was brought up in Cumbria, and has returned there after many years in Yorkshire. With his first crime novel, A Clubbable Woman, he was hailed as `the crime novel's best hope' and twenty years on he has more than fulfilled that prophecy.


This standalone novel by award-winning suspense writer Hill (Good Morning, Midnight) features two characters with little in common but for their families being in the wine business. Samantha Flood is a 20-year-old Australian math genius, while Miguel Madero lives in Jerez, Spain, with a Spanish father and an English mother. After the death of her grandmother, Samantha learns that her father was adopted and comes to England seeking information about his birth mother. Miguel, who experienced a mystical calling to the priesthood but left the seminary to pursue an academic career in history, is in search of information about Catholic priests during the reign of Elizabeth I. Both find themselves drawn to the Cumbrian village of Illthwaite, and both meet resistance from the locals when they arrive and begin asking questions. As their quests become intertwined, Samantha and Miguel at last join forces. Filled with suspense, history, and wry humor, this is a treat of a novel about two people who are driven to uncover the truth about their families and unexpectedly find allies in each other.-Beth Lindsay, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

`Good Morning Midnight is a real treat. The characters are deftly drawn, the plot constantly delivers surprises and the assured narrative demonstrates again what a terrific writer he is' Peter Guttridge, Observer

`As absorbing and as enjoyable as anything Reginald Hill has produced. The writing is brilliant, witty and erudite' TJ Binyon, Evening Standard

`Few writers in the genre today have Hill's gifts: formidable intelligence, quick humour, compassion and a prose style that blends elegance and grace' Donna Leon, Sunday Times

`The fertility of Hill's imagination, the range of his power, the sheer quality of his literary style never cease to delight' Val McDermid, Sunday Express

`Probably the best living male crime writer in the English-speaking world' Andrew Taylor, Independent

`Reginald Hill's novels are really dances to the music of time, his heroes and villains interconnecting, their stories entwining' Ian Rankin, Scotland on Sunday

Fans of the witty Dalziel/Pascoe police procedurals (Good Morning, Midnight, etc.) by Diamond Dagger-winner Hill may be nonplussed by this stand-alone, a mix of historical mystery, gothic romance, ghost story and tutorial on religion and Norse mythology. Samantha "Sam" Flood, an Australian mathematics whiz, visits the isolated British village of Illthwaite before attending graduate school at Cambridge, hoping to discover the origins of her grandmother who emigrated from the place as a child. Miguel "Mig" Madero, a former novice priest now a history scholar, seeks the link between an ancestor who disappeared during the Spanish Armada defeat and a Catholic Illthwaite family. The villagers, quirky and devious, seem to know more than they'll reveal. Sam and Mig, initially antagonistic, join forces when their quests intersect. Spanning four centuries and related by several narrators, who slowly clarify the mystery, the book is too long and repetitive and seasoned with wild coincidences. Still, the engrossing historical background, especially Elizabeth I's campaign to eliminate English Catholicism, more than compensates. Agent, Caradoc King at A.P. Watt (U.K.). (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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