Alison Littlewood - The Hidden People - Quercus

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The Hidden People

By Alison Littlewood

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The bestselling author of Richard & Judy Book Club hit The Cold Season returns with a chilling Victorian mystery - where superstition and myth bleed into real life with tragic consequences . . .

The bestselling author of Richard & Judy Book Club hit The Cold Season returns with a chilling Victorian mystery - where superstition and myth bleed into real life with tragic consequences.

Pretty Lizzie Higgs is gone, burned to death on her own hearth - but was she really a changeling, as her husband insists?

Albie Mirralls met his cousin only once, in 1851, within the grand glass arches of the Crystal Palace, but unable to countenance the rumours that surround her murder, he leaves his young wife in London and travels to Halfoak, a village steeped in superstition.

Albie begins to look into Lizzie's death, but in this place where the old tales hold sway and the 'Hidden People' supposedly roam, answers are slippery and further tragedy is just a step away . . .

'This is an intriguing and unsettling scenario. Littlewood's descriptions are picturesque and her prose convincingly dated and beautifully lyrical' - Sunday Express

Biographical Notes

Alison Littlewood is the author of A Cold Season, published by Jo Fletcher Books. The novel was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, where it was described as "perfect reading for a dark winter's night." Her most recent novel, The Hidden People, has recently been published to critical acclaim.

Alison's short stories have been picked for Best British Horror 2015, The Best Horror of the Year and The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror anthologies, as well as The Best British Fantasy 2013 and The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 10. She also won the 2014 Shirley Jackson Award for Short Fiction with her story The Dog's Home, published in The Spectral Book of Horror Stories.

Alison lives with her partner Fergus in Yorkshire, England, in a house of creaking doors and crooked walls. You can talk to her on twitter @Ali__L, see her on Facebook and visit her at www.alisonlittlewood.co.uk.

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  • ISBN: 9781848669918
  • Publication date: 06 Oct 2016
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  • Imprint: Jo Fletcher Books
Littlewood does a great job writing in a quasi-Victorian manner throughout and the twist is brilliant — Daily Mail
There's an amazing sense of place and time in this novel, as Littlewood perfectly captures the literary style, attitudes, and class consciousness of Victorian England — Publishers Weekly
Suitably strange with a twist — Kirkus Reviews
This is an intriguing and unsettling scenario. Littlewood's descriptions are picturesque and her prose convincingly dated and beautifully lyrical — Sunday Express
Hypnotic and intelligent with buckets of atmosphere . . . Littlewood expertly weaves themes of misogyny and mythology into a psychological page-turner that feels both familiar and fresh — SFX
One of those books that you will probably read over the course of a single night and wonder in the morning where the time has gone . . . The Hidden People is an intriguing piece of work that takes its cue from complex mythology and superstition to weave a timeless story that equally delights and disturbs. — Upcoming4.me
This magical murder-mystery blends the supernatural with the psychological ... surprising, moving and rewarding — Daily Express
A skilful blend of the supernatural and the psychological . . . If you enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke and the Woman in Black by Susan Hill, this is one for you — Mature Times
A sense of tension makes The Hidden People deeply uneasy reading, and it's to Littlewood's credit that she sustains this uncertainty so cleverly, without landing on one explanation or the other till the whole of her tremendous tale is told . . . As mesmerising as it is magical, and as quickening as it is at times sickening, The Hidden People is, at the last, an excellent successor to Littlewood's darkly-sparkling debut — Tor.com
The novel has a strange and dreamlike quality to it, almost as if a fog is hanging over the town, and when combined with the bizarre townsfolk and the disturbing mystery at its center, it makes for a book that disturbs the reader as new dimensions unfold piece by piece — Barnes and Noble
Littlewood weaves a plot that's as complex as any contemporary thriller, made more labyrinthine by the supernatural elements; a tense atmosphere permeates the novel, growing in strength to become more disturbing with each passing chapter . . . Anyone expecting a gore-fest or a fairy apocalypse will be disappointed, but for those wanting to observe how subtle psychological horror can be, how the deepest fears can be contained in the smallest of actions, and that the gothic novel is still incredibly powerful even in these modern times, this is the book for them. — Starburst Magazine
A dark Victorian gothic murder-mystery novel with a chillingly authentic feel — Choice Magazine
Definitely ticks all the boxes . . . a brilliant story full of mystery, murder and intrigue — Garbage-file
The Hidden People deftly drops readers into a bygone world where wise women dabble in foretelling the future and sharing herbal concoctions; hobgoblins, changelings and fairies are evident, if you know how to look; and folktales and fantasies can pervade the mind, bringing on delusions and misconceptions that threaten to overwhelm even the most logically minded soul — Shelf Awareness
An enjoyable, dark tale. It is an intriguing Victorian murder mystery filled with interesting themes surrounding folklore and superstition in the 19th century, along with some unforgettable characters — Owl on the Bookshelf
Perfect . . . a story that's exquisitely unsettling — Blue Book Balloon
Alison Littlewood is one of the brightest stars in the horror genre at the moment . . . The Hidden People is impeccably written, quiet, evocative horror. It's yet another must buy from Littlewood. — This is Horror
The atmosphere Alison Littlewood conjures up in The Hidden People is absorbing and there's a real sense of foreboding, you feel the fairies might show themselves at any moment. — Irish News
A brilliant novel — Tim Lebbon
The time and place are evoked with exquisite minute detail that I was swept up in it all - never has the phrase ' away with the fairies" seemed more apt — The Book Trail
The time stops completely, as a reader you're forced to take in all the sounds and sights...You'll constantly question who's bonkers and whether you'll actually meet a real fairy in the story . . . If it wasn't published in October 2016 but rather in early 1900s, it would easily be one of the classics now. — Cover to Cover
[Littlewood] writes the books I love - fairy tales, folklore and mystery all seamlessly woven together — The Bookish Outsider
The story is utterly atmospheric, full of the kind of beautiful, exquisite detail that slowly creeps up on you. Littlewood also writes wonderfully and has a flair for bringing a historical setting to life — Bibliosanctum
Beautifully atmospheric. It's not so much shock-and-awe jump-scare horror as a slow, creeping buildup of wrongness that she creates by subtly weaving together details. She paints a vivid picture of Halfoak, and then starts to tear it apart, bit by bit. — SF Revu
A meticulously imagined novel of a bourgeois London gentleman investigating a northern cousin's immolation under similar circumstances. In Yorkshire, Albert Mirrals gradually finds that the rational explanations he once entertained for what he believes was his cousin's murder - domestic violence, jealousies - become entwined with the lyrical madness of possession. Quotations from Yeats and other poets magnify the effects of Littlewood's carefully period prose — Seattle Review of Books
Littlewood weaves a great story here, with plenty of questions and atmosphere to keep readers turning the pages.The story was compelling, the characters interesting and complex, and it was an evocative novel that's going to have a solid place of my bookshelves from now on. Definitely recommended for those who are looking for something beyond typical urban fantasy fare, for those who enjoy historical fiction, and also, for those like me who have a soft spot for genre-breaking fiction that leaves you hungry for more — Bibliotropic
The characters and story itself were absolutely fantastic! An amazing mystery that messes with your mind and keeps you wondering what is happening from start to end . . . incredibly well thought out and put together — Roadside Reader
Littlewood has a real talent. The Hidden People is one of the most well written books I have read this year — The Quillery
This is a super creepy read whether you want to believe or not — Den of Geek
The perfect October read — Books, Bones & Buffy
Littlewood's best novel yet . . . a sustained and convincing work of traditional gothic horror — Stephen Teaker, Black Static
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