The Hidden People (Hardcover)
Jo Fletcher, 9781681442938, 368pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
In 1851, within the grand glass arches of London's Crystal Palace, Albie Mirralls meets his cousin Lizzie for the first--and, as it turns out, last--time. His cousin is from a backward rural village, and Albie expects she will be a simple country girl, but instead he is struck by her inner beauty and by her lovely singing voice, which is beautiful beyond all reckoning. When next he hears of her, many years later, it is to hear news of her death at the hands of her husband, the village shoemaker. Unable to countenance the rumors that surround his younger cousin's murder--apparently, her husband thought she had been replaced by one of the "fair folk" and so burned her alive--Albie becomes obsessed with bringing his young cousin's murderer to justice. With his father's blessing, as well as that of his young wife, Albie heads to the village of Halfoak to investigate his cousin's murder. When he arrives, he finds a community in the grip of superstition, nearly every member of which believes Lizzie's husband acted with the best of intentions and in the service of the village. There, Albie begins to look into Lizzie's death and to search for her murderous husband, who has disappeared. But in a village where the rationalism and rule of science of the Industrial Revolution seem to have found little purchase, the answers to the question of what happened to Lizzie and why prove elusive. And the more he learns, the less sure he is that there aren't mysterious powers at work.
About the Author
Alison Littlewood is the author of A Cold Season, published by Jo Fletcher Books. The novel was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, where it was described as 'perfect reading for a dark winter's night.' Her second novel, Path of Needles, is a dark blend of fairy tales and crime fiction. Alison's short stories have been picked for the Best Horror of the Year and Mammoth Book of Best New Horror anthologies, as well as The Best British Fantasy 2013 and The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 10. Alison lives in West Yorkshire, England, with her partner Fergus.