In 1893, a trail of ashen footprints leads Deputy Archie Lean to the body of a murdered thief. The man’s exposed flesh has been horribly burned and occult symbols mark the nearby walls. Most troubling of all is what Lean witnessed two days earlier: this same man being lowered into his grave without a burn mark on him. Once again, the Portland, Maine, police deputy must turn to the brilliant criminalist Perceval Grey for help.
Grey, a half-Abenaki Indian detective, faces problems of his own after agreeing to an elderly tycoon’s death-bed plea to find his long-lost granddaughter. The dying man’s family is less interested in the missing heiress than with the recent theft of an obscure heirloom carved with curious symbols. As the family’s shadowy history is revealed, the three mysteries intersect to draw Lean and Grey into a maze of murder, deceit, and revenge. Each deadly new clue points toward an even greater puzzle—one that will pit Grey against a devious murderer in a race to unlock an ancient and mysterious power.
About the Author
Kieran Shields is the author of the historical mysteries, THE TRUTH OF ALL THINGS (Crown, 2012) and A STUDY IN REVENGE (Crown, 2013). Both were finalists for the Nero Award. His newest book is The Stone Ship (which is not too historical and not overly mysterious). He lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and two children. He can be reached on his facebook page: Kieran Shields, Author or via email at email@example.com
"A compelling story that will take readers from the dreary streets of Portland to the upscale parlors of Brahmin Boston. A fine historical mystery." - Booklist
“The plot is awash in mysterious circumstances and suggestions of the occult…a rich and multi-layered adventure told with skill and attention to detail.” —BookPage
“[Shields] serves up a highly readable novel that is guaranteed to engage readers until the very last page.” —Tucson Citizen
"Erudite, mysterious and exciting, with a brooding, brilliant Sherlock-ian detective. The denouement is just as surprising as in [The Truth of All Things].” - Kirkus (starred review)
"A well-executed addition to this genre, and a detective duo worth following into the next book in the series." --Historical Novel Society