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  • Published: 9 April 2024
  • ISBN: 9781787302914
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $38.00

The Shadow Key




There's something mysterious about the village of Penhelyg. Will unlocking its truth bring light or darkness?

There’s something devilish going on in the quiet Welsh village of Penhelyg. Will the shadow key unlock its dark secrets?

After a grave mistake, Henry Talbot has been forced to take an unappealing position as a village doctor in remote Wales where he can't speak the language and belief in myth and magic is rife. When Henry discovers his predecessor died in mysterious circumstances, and starts to notice an arcane symbol appearing in odd places, he sets out to find answers.

When Henry meets the lady of the manor, Linette Tresilian, he finds her vexingly unhelpful at first. She seems to know little about the shelves of occult books he notices in her family’s library. But Linette has suspicions of her own about what’s happened in the village and, together, their investigations will bind their destinies in ways neither thought possible.

*Reveal the secret golden symbol that haunts Henry and Linette when you take off the book jacket. Only available on the first printing.*

PRAISE FOR THE SHADOW KEY

'An alluring, immersive Gothic mystery from an impressively talented writer…. A simmering, splendid novel' Jennifer Saint

'A haunting, transporting mystery…kept me completely enthralled' Elodie Harper

‘I was gripped… the story was so dark and clever’ Stacey Thomas

‘Wonderful. . . an intricate plot, beautiful writing, and a clever exploration of evil. If you like my books, then you’ll love [this]’ Laura Shepherd-Robinson

'A gripping, beautifully executed historical thriller, full of arcane magic and Welsh mythology' Rosie Andrews

'A tale of chilling suspense, occult secrets and cunning folklore that delicately captures that entanglement of the Welsh landscape and the myths that inhabit it' Cari Williams

  • Published: 9 April 2024
  • ISBN: 9781787302914
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $38.00

About the author

Susan Stokes-Chapman

Susan Stokes-Chapman was born in 1985 and grew up in the historic Georgian city of Lichfield, Staffordshire. She studied for four years at Aberystwyth University, graduating with a BA in Education & English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing. Her debut novel, Pandora, was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction prize 2020 and became an instant Sunday Times number-one bestseller. You can find Susan on Instagram and Twitter under the handle @SStokesChapman. Her website is www.susanstokeschapman.com.

Also by Susan Stokes-Chapman

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Praise for The Shadow Key

A mesmerising maze of a gothic Georgian mystery. Enter an eerie and liminal world steeped in superstition, Welsh folklore, and pagan cults. Gloriously atmospheric from the first dark page to the last

Essie Fox

A novel to read under the covers with a flashlight...deliciously dark and romantic... Gloriously Gothic, and lovingly and carefully researched...an instant classic

Kate Heartfield, author of THE EMBROIDERED BOOK

The mysteries and twists kept me turning the pages till the wee small hours – every character has something to hide. A sumptuous, dark feast of a novel

Susan C Wilson, author of CLYTEMNESTRA'S BIND

Dark secrets unfold at galloping pace in this atmospheric and propulsive gothic mystery. With compelling, richly-drawn characters and clever, twisty plotting... an addictive and satisfying read from a masterful storyteller

Nikki Marmery, author LILITH

A haunting, transporting mystery…kept me completely enthralled

Elodie Harper

Riveting, meticulously researched, hugely evocative... a page-turning plot and a compelling cast of characters that spring from the page. Susan Stokes-Chapman has done it again!

Annabel Abbs, author of THE LANGUAGE OF FOOD

A marvellously evocative and tautly plotted treat, this book will have you longing to explore Welsh forests, rivers and mountains; folklore, fiendish villains, and fraught relations between classes all combine for a lush escape into a magical and macabre world. Loved it

Naomi Kelsey, author of THE BURNINGS

Steeped in Welsh folklore, this atmospheric, beautifully written (and paced) tale of myth, murder and magic in the depths of rural Georgian Wales was my perfect escape. A true gothic delight.

Kate Griffin, author of FYNESHADE

A gripping, beautifully executed historical thriller, full of arcane magic and Welsh mythology

Rosie Andrews, author of The Leviathan

An atmospheric and accomplished gothic mystery, it reveals its secrets layer by tantalising layer, offering glimpses of untold stories and histories

Anne Corlett, author of The Theatre of Glass and Shadows

A fantastic read! Dark and twisty, full of atmosphere, with a heroine I cheered for from the moment she appeared

Frances Quinn, author of That Bonesetter Woman

I absolutely fell in love with the gothic Georgian Wales of Susan’s creation, and was swept away by Henry and Linette’s adventure’

Michelle Adams, author of THE LOST LIVES OF FRANCES LANGLEY

A beautifully dark and mysterious read. Richly atmospheric and captivating.

M. A. Kuzniar, author of MIDNIGHT IN EVERWOOD

A cleverly plotted, darkly captivating novel that hooks the reader from the beginning. With appealing characters, a richly detailed setting and embedded in a strong sense of magic and mythology, this is a beautifully atmospheric read

Elizabeth Lee, author of CUNNING WOMEN

A gorgeously gothic novel, atmospheric and beguiling. The Shadow Key is a book to disappear into

A.J. West, author of THE SPIRIT ENGINEER

An alluring, immersive Gothic mystery from an impressively talented writer. Susan Stokes-Chapman conjures the beauty and darkness of eighteenth-century Wales in this simmering, splendid novel.

Jennifer Saint

Wonderful. . . an intricate plot, beautiful writing, and a clever exploration of evil. If you like my books, then you’ll love [this]

Laura Sheperd-Robinson

An atmospheric and gothic story that draws you in from the first page

GLAMOUR