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The Stranger's Companion

On sale

20th June 2024

Price: £16.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399813150

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October 1933

With a population of five hundred souls, isolated Sark has a reputation for being ‘the island where nothing ever happens’. Until, one day, the neatly folded clothes of an unknown man and woman are discovered abandoned at a coastal beauty spot. As the search for the missing couple catches the attention of first the local and then national newspapers, Sark finds itself front-page news.

When young islander Phyllis Carey returns to Sark from England she throws herself into solving the mystery. As Phyll digs through swirls of gossip, ghost stories and dark rumours in search of the truth, she crosses paths with Everard Hyde, a surprise visitor from her past. As press coverage builds to fever pitch, long-suppressed secrets from Phyll’s and Everard’s shared, shadowy history begin to surface.

The Stranger’s Companion is a beguiling historical mystery inspired by a real-life crime, which remains unsolved to this day.

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Praise for THE BOOK OF LIES --
Financial Times
An ingenious debut
Acutely observed . . . It is a complex and deeply satisfying novel, and I can scarcely believe it is Horlock's first book
Horlock has created an authentic adolescent voice and, in the process, not only illuminated the history of a small island but also thrown light on the subjectivity of history, truth and memory
The ending is brilliantly double-edged, bearing witness . . . to human nature's perverse complexity - its wounded, willing goodness, its streaks of darkness
The Times
A sizzling debut . . . the end is extraordinary. Guernsey, where the author spent her childhood, is beautifully evoked
Publishers Weekly
Strange and inviting . . . [Catherine's] razor-sharp humor gives the book a pleasing, offbeat charm
Library Journal
Remarkable . . . [Cat] is unique and captivating
The misplaced loyalties that often drive the adolescent mind are expertly depicted in Mary Horlock's debut novel . . . Nails the stifling nature of a small community choked by the dark memories of wartime
An intriguing and well-handled debut
Marina Warner, author of INVENTORY OF A LIFE MISLAID
A sparkling, inventive and entertaining work
Lisa Appignanesi, author of EVERYDAY MADNESS
Mary Horlock is a very special kind of story teller, one who can interleave mystery with a deep sense of place and history to create a captivating narrative
Zoë Somerville, author of THE MARSH HOUSE
A stunning setting, a compelling mystery and such a wonderful, distinctive cast of characters. The narrative voice is brilliantly original and I thoroughly enjoyed the wit and spark of the writing. I absolutely loved it
Jessie Elland, author of THE LADIE UPSTAIRS
I absolutely loved The Stranger's Companion - it's perfect for fellow fans of Celia Fremlin. Mary has a unique and distinctive way of capturing a sense of place and I became so invested in her wonderfully eclectic cast of characters. Brilliant!