Introducing the Fitzglens and their theatre of thieves in this spellbinding gothic mystery!
London, 1908. The Fitzglens are proud of their reputation as one of London’s leading theatre families. They are, however, equally proud of another profession which they pursue very discreetly . . . When not on stage, they are thieves.
Jack Fitzglen’s latest plan is to seek out the infamous Talisman Chalice, steal it and create a dazzling piece of theatre around it. He travels to Vallow Hall in Northumberland to find the mysterious Maude – the last known link to the Chalice – but uncovers something far darker. Scandal, secrets and danger lurk in every shady corner. Perhaps the legend of the Chalice has come true: that in the wrong hands, the Chalice drags a person into a darkness from which he or she can never emerge…
As past and present collide, can Jack find the Chalice, the truth and return to his theatre of thieves unscathed?
I was first introduced to Sarah Rayne through one of her non-series books, The Death Chamber, which remains one of the scariest books I’ve ever read. I’m glad to see her again deviating from her series regulars Phinneas Fox and Nell West in Chalice of Darkness, and possibly introducing a new series family, the Fitzglens!
The storytelling here is as intriguing and well-plotted as usual with Rayne’s work, and is accompanied by a surprisingly tender treatment of a woman horribly wronged. Maude endures unthinkable punishment from her husband, driven by his own inadequacy and his fear and loathing of her. Quite a reminder that the times when women were considered their husband’s property isn’t all that long ago.
In addition to Maude, the Fitzglen family is fascinating. The blend of thespian and thief was fun to read, and the ending was so satisfying. I would welcome additional stories featuring this troupe of performers and con artists!
This will appeal to fans of Simone St. James and of course to Raynes’ fans.
“Superb . . . Lovers of British historical mysteries with a dash of romance and gothic atmosphere will clamor for more” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Publication Date: February 7, 2023
Published By: Severn House
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy