London, 1810. A raid on a notorious tavern sees the city gripped with hatred of gays, coupled with suspicion of their political sympathies. A few miles away in St James’s Palace, the Duke of Cumberland’s valet suffers a violent death, which the authorities are anxious to see only as suicide. Caught between these two historical events, the fictional lawyer Wyre is reluctantly drawn into a network of dark alliances that appear to link the raid on the White Swan Tavern, the death at the Palace, and the war against France. Leading to a shocking revelation, the novel explores a labyrinthine city of asylums, brothels, and secret spaces, in which poets rub shoulders with pimps, and where the only constant is illicit desire.
“Turley (Keats’s Boyish Imagination) makes his fiction debut with a superior whodunit inspired by a major sex scandal of the Regency era—the 1810 raid on London’s White Horse Tavern, which led to the arrests of a number of men on sodomy charges. Junior Prosecutor Christopher Wyre, who has been handling such cases, finds himself investigating another shocking crime. The Duke of Cumberland, one of the four men ruling the country, narrowly escapes death after being attacked one night in his bedroom. The assailant appears to have been one of the duke’s valets, Salis, who was found in his locked room, an apparent suicide. Troubled by the official story, Wyre believes that there’s more going on than has been revealed, a position that places his life in jeopardy. Turley combines a gritty look at the times with a carefully constructed murder mystery that resolves itself in a way that may even surprise genre veterans.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review2015, 400 pages (Sandstone)
ISBN 978-1-910124-10-9 Paperback $17.00
A sequel to Rob Gittins’ hard-hitting first crime thriller, Gimme Shelter (2013), based on the Witness Protection Service. For most people, the past is history. For witness protection officer Ros Gilet, it is a threat. And it is a threat that’s just become all too active as a copycat killing brings characters
who weren’t even supposed to exist back from the past. Real life ghosts who have assumed human shape. But who are these ghosts? And what do they want?
“Well-drawn characters and sophisticated storytelling distinguish Gittins’s second novel focusing on the Welsh Witness Protection Office (after 2013’s Gimme Shelter). The opening teaser—a report from family court about an unnamed child characterized as a “little monster”—sets the tone for the horrific, almost unbearable situations that follow. The prologue introduces Mo, a woman confined to a living hell in a hospital bed. An enigmatic stranger whom Mo met in a Cardiff restaurant slipped a drug into her drink that led her to reveal secrets of a safe house before leaving her completely paralyzed and unable to communicate. In the main narrative, a young mother, Kim, falls prey to an intruder, who sedates Kim and positions her in front of a video camera, which records her baby slowly dying from dehydration in a nearby crib, reflected in Kim’s eyes. And that’s all before Ros Gilet, a witness protection officer, must deal with a copycat murder. Minette Walters fans will find a lot to like.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review2015, 366 pages (Y Lolfa)
ISBN 978-1-78461-073-9 Paper $17.00