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The Beholders

A novel by

'Held me completely in its thrall until the very last line’ SUSAN STOKES-CHAPMAN, bestselling author of Pandora

‘A well-researched and thoroughly convincing page-turner’ LAURA SHEPPERSON, bestselling author of The Heroines


June, 1878. The body of a boy is pulled from the depths of the River Thames, suspected to be the beloved missing child of the widely admired Liberal MP Ralph Gethin.

Four months earlier. Harriet is a young maid newly employed at Finton Hall. Fleeing the drudgery of an unwanted engagement in the small village where she grew up, Harriet is entranced by the grand country hall; she is entranced too by her glamorous mistress Clara Gethin, whose unearthly singing voice floats through the house. But Clara, though captivating, is erratic. The master of the house is a much-lauded politician, but he is strangely absent. And some of their beautiful belongings seem to tell terrible stories.

Unable to ignore her growing unease, Harriet sets out to discover their secrets. When she uncovers a shocking truth, a chain of events is set in motion that could cost Harriet everything, even her freedom…

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"A dark slice of the sort of gothic nineteenth-century readers were warned against. Thrumming with tension and posing chewy questions about power and complicity, within two pages it had me in its grip and I couldn't bring myself to look away. Uneasy, unsettling, and unputdownable." - Lianne Dillsworth

"An atmospheric historical thriller with layer upon layer of secrets and twists that kept me guessing right through to the novel's exquisite ending. Simultaneously enthralling and unsettling, this book examines the darkness beneath the surface of Victorian society with deft and unflinching brushstrokes. I can't wait to read more from Hester Musson." - Katie Lumsden

"A well-researched and thoroughly convincing page-turner." - Laura Shepperson

"A page-turning epistolary novel which takes us on a weaving tale of intrigue, full of heart, that held me completely in its thrall until the very last line. Bravo!" - Susan Stokes-Chapman

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