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Authors: Robert Edric

Peacetime (39 page)

BOOK: Peacetime
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Mathias remained kneeling at Jacob's feet, holding them in both his hands and caressing their soles with his thumbs. He started to cry, and then said something through his tears which neither Mercer nor Mary properly heard.

Again, Mercer looked down to where Lynch had fallen, and where he still lay without moving. He lifted the open trapdoor and then lowered it into its space, sealing the four of them off from everyone below.

He went to the window and looked down on the men and women outside, most of them now walking slowly back to their homes. It was brighter there than in the tower, and the moon cast their shadows ahead of them.

Above them, a flock of gulls flew in from the sea, rising and falling in wavering lines, their vividly white outlines flickering and spectral as they passed silently overhead.

The smoke from the fire still clung to the ground, and the men and women passing through it resembled nothing more to Mercer than aimless waders in a shallow sea, uncertain of their destinations or of
the hidden depths ahead of them, the disturbed smoke curling and then settling around them as they went.

THE END

THE BOOK OF THE HEATHEN
Robert Edric

‘MORE DISTURBING EVEN THAN CONRAD IN HIS DEPICTION OF THE HEART OF DARKNESS'
Peter Kemp,
Sunday Times

‘RELENTLESS , . . AN IMPRESSIVE AND DISTURBING WORK OF ART'
Robert Nye,
Literary Review

1897. In an isolated station in the Belgian Congo, an Englishman awaits trial for the murder of a native child, while his friend attempts to discover the circumstances surrounding the charge. The world around them is rapidly changing: the horrors of colonial Africa are becoming known and the flow of its once- fabulous wealth is drying up.

But there is even more than the death of a child at the heart of this conflict. There is a secret so dark, so unimaginable, that one man must be willingly destroyed by his possession of it, and the other must participate in that destruction.

‘MANY RESPECTABLE JUDGES WOULD PUT EDRIC IN THE TOP TEN OF BRITISH NOVELISTS CURRENTLY AT WORK … AS A WRITER, HE SPECIALISES IN THE DELICATE HINT AND THE GAME NOT GIVEN AWAY'
D.J. Taylor,
Spectator

‘STUNNING … EVOCATIVELY BRINGS TO LIFE THE STIFLING HUMIDITY AND CONSTANT RAINFALL OF THE CONGO'
John Cooper,
The Times

‘A VERY GRIPPING STORY … THE READER IS DRAWN IN INEXORABLY TO DISCOVER WHAT HORROR LIES AT THE HEART OF IT … AN APOCALYPTIC FABLE FOR TODAY'
John Spurling,
The Times Literary Supplement

‘RENDERED IN PROSE WHOSE STEADINESS AND TRANSPARENCY THROW THE DARK TURBULENCE OF WHAT IS HAPPENING INTO DAMNING RELIEF. IT WILL BE SURPRISING IF THIS YEAR SEES A MORE DISTURBING OR HAUNTING NOVEL'
Peter Kemp,
Sunday Times

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THE SWORD CABINET
Robert Edric

‘A KALEIDOSCOPIC MEDITATION ON CELEBRITY, MUNDANITY AND HORROR'
Mark Sanderson,
Time Out

Robert Edric's brilliant novel recreates a faded world of seaside entertainers, stuntmen and illusionists. Mitchell King, failed impresario, ruined club-owner and embezzler, searches for his lost mother, the former girl-assistant to Morgan King, escapologist and chief suspect in an unsolved case of serial killing dating back to 1950.

‘SPECTACULAR … EDRIC DARTS BETWEEN INTERLINKED STORIES, SPINNING THEM LIKE PLATES ON STICKS'
Ruth Scurr,
The Times

‘GLORIOUSLY DISCOMFORTING AND MYSTERIOUS … A PHILOSOPHICAL PUZZLE'
Alison Huntley,
Independent

‘EDRIC'S TECHNIQUE RESTS ON SUBTERFUGE AND CONCEALMENT … A THOROUGHLY ARRESTING PERFORMANCE'
D. J. Taylor,
Sunday Times

‘THE REWARDS COME FROM THE CLEAR AUSTERITY OF THE PROSE, THE UTTERLY BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS AND THE SATISFYING MIXTURE OF REAL AND METAPHORICAL ILLUSION … IMPRESSIVE'
Natasha Cooper,
Sunday Express

1 862 30066 6

 

CRADLE SONG
Robert Edric

An imprisoned paedophile and child murderer unexpectedly appeals his conviction. In return for a reduced sentence, he offers to implicate those involved in the crimes who were never caught; to provide evidence of Police corruption at the time of the original investigation; and, most importantly, to reveal where the corpses of several long-sought, but never found teenage girls are buried.

Unhappy at what may be about to happen, but at the same time desperate to locate the body of his own missing daughter, the father of one of these girls approaches Private Investigator Leo Rivers with a plea for help.

Rivers' enquiries stir cold and bitter memories. Long-dead enmities flare suddenly into violence and a succession of new killings. Everyone involved, then and now, and on both sides of the law, is unprepared for the suddenness and ferocity with which these old embers are fanned back into life. As the investigation progresses, it gathers momentum, and now must speed inexorably to the even greater violence and sadness of its conclusion.

The first of a trilogy of contemporary crime novels set in the city of Hull, Robert Edric's new novel is reminiscent of Chandler and Mosley, and yet remains uniquely British. Against the backdrop of Internet pornography, Police corruption and child murder, this dark and intense novel reads like a game of chess where each piece is invested with a deceptive significance.

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