In the midst of an icy winter, as birds fall frozen from the sky, chambermaid Madeleine Chastel arrives at the home of the city’s celebrated clockmaker and his clever, unworldly daughter.
Madeleine is hiding a dark past, and a dangerous purpose: to discover the truth of the clockmaker’s experiments and record his every move, in exchange for her own chance of freedom.
For as children quietly vanish from the Parisian streets, rumours are swirling that the clockmaker’s intricate mechanical creations, bejewelled birds and silver spiders, are more than they seem.
And soon Madeleine fears that she has stumbled upon an even greater conspiracy. One which might reach to the very heart of Versailles…
My reading experience:
Firstly I would like to thank Orion publishing, Netgalley and Anna for my advanced reader copy.
This is an atmospheric, transportive piece of writing that is rich with visualisations and character. I was drawn to the curiosity and intrigue as much as the various female characters with their variety of layers. Thick with poverty and decadence and the distasteful gulf between them, it is satisfying that the author has layered the text with olfactory sensual description which puts the reader right in the heart of the scene.
I can’t praise this enough. Transportive time travel, a chilling thriller like no other, bringing the uncanny right to the table. Finally, the wrapping for this fascinating, macabre tale is the wonderful cover design by Micaela Alcaino.
I highly recommend Anna’s new book. Please see her other works for more delicious reading.