The darkly compelling, masterfully rendered tale of a centuries-old secret and the bold quest of irresistible duo Archie Lean and Perceval Grey to uncover the truth, from the author of The Truth of All Things
In the summer of 1893 in Portland, Maine, police detective Archie Lean follows a trail of ashen footprints to the site of a dead body. The victim is horribly scorched, and ominous occult symbols mark nearby walls. But what troubles Lean most is what he saw two days earlier: this same dead man being lowered into his grave without a burn mark on him. Perplexed by the diabolically staged scene, Lean turns for help to his onetime partner, the brilliant criminalist Perceval Grey.
Grey faces problems of his own after agreeing to a wealthy businessman's deathbed plea to find his long-lost granddaughter. The dying man’s family is more concerned with the recent theft of the thunderstone, 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 that will pit Grey against a devious murderer in a race to decipher the thunderstone's riddle—and reveal an ancient secret that men will kill to possess.
Now with Extra Libris material, including an essay by Kieran Shields and bonus content
"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