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“Masterful scary and smart, working as a horror story but also a philosophical inquiry into the nature of will and love. Perry did as much in her richly praised novel The Essex Serpent, but this is a deeper, more complex novel and more rewarding.”
Washington PostFor centuries, the mysterious dark-robed figure has roamed the globe, searching for those whose complicity and cowardice have fed into the rapids of history’s darkest waters and now, in Sarah Perry’s breathtaking follow-up to The Essex Serpent, it is heading in our direction.It has been years since Helen Franklin left England. In Prague, working as a translator, she has found a home of sorts or, at least, refuge. That changes when her friend Karel discovers a mysterious letter in the library, a strange confession and a curious warning that speaks of Melmoth the Witness, a dark legend found in obscure fairy tales and antique village lore. As such superstition has it, Melmoth travels through the ages, dooming those she persuades to join her to a damnation of timeless, itinerant solitude. To Helen it all seems the stuff of unenlightened fantasy.But, unaware, as she wanders the cobblestone streets Helen is being watched. And then Karel disappears. . . .