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Robert Edric - Author

About the Author

Robert Edric was born in 1956. His novels include Winter Garden (1985 James Tait Black Prize winner), A New Ice Age (1986 runner-up for the Guardian Fiction Prize), A Lunar Eclipse, The Earth Made of Glass, Elysium, In Desolate Heaven, The Sword Cabinet, The Book of the Heathen (shortlisted for the 2001 WH Smith Literary Award) and Peacetime (longlisted for the Booker Prize 2002). Cradle Song and Siren Song  are the first books in the Song Cycle Trilogy, the final book, Swan Song, is now available from Doubleday.
 

Featured books by Robert Edric

Sanctuary

Sanctuary

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/08/2015

Haworth, West Yorkshire, 1848. Branwell Bronte - unexhibited artist, unacknowledged writer, sacked railwayman, disgraced tutor and spurned lover - finds himself unhappily back in Haworth Parsonage, to face the disappointment of his father and his three sisters, the scale of whose own pseudonymous successes is only just becoming apparent. With his health failing rapidly, his aspirations abandoned and his once loyal circle of friends shrinking fast, Branwell resorts to a world of secrets, conspiracies and endlessly imagined betrayals. But his spiral of self-destruction only accelerates the sense of his destiny to be a bystander looking across at greatness, and the madness which that realisation will bring...

Sanctuary

Sanctuary

Author: Robert Edric Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/11/2014

Haworth, West Yorkshire, 1848. Branwell Bronte - unexhibited artist, unacknowledged writer, sacked railwayman, disgraced tutor and spurned lover -finds himself unhappily back in Haworth Parsonage, to face the crushing disappointment of his father and his three sisters, whose own pseudonymous successes - allegedly kept secret from him - are only just becoming apparent. With his health failing rapidly, his literary aspirations abandoned and his once loyal circle of friends shrinking fast, Branwell lives in a world of secrets, conspiracies and seemingly endless betrayals. To restore himself to a creative and fulfilling existence in the face of an increasingly claustrophobic environment, he returns to the drugs, alcohol and the morbid self-delusion which have already played such a large part in his unhappy life. Sanctuary is a lacerating and moving portrait of self-destruction. In it, Robert Edric has reimagined the final months of one of the great bystanders of literary history, and, in so doing, has shone a penetrating light on one of the most celebrated and perennially fascinating families in our creative history.

Other books by Robert Edric

Mercury Falling

Mercury Falling

Author: Robert Edric Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/04/2018

'Shows once more Edric's unassuming yet remarkable talent for conjuring up the lives of his characters' The Sunday Times The Fenlands, 1954 It is a tough winter; the temperatures have fallen too low too quickly and the floods are the worst anyone can remember. Most people have lost everything but there are some who have found themselves eager for the chance at a new start. For Jimmy Devlin, it's a little of both. Forced from his home by an uncompromising bailiff, Jimmy has nothing to his name and the prospect of work digging urgently needed drains could be the opportunity he's been waiting for. But Jimmy, it seems, has a knack for finding trouble. Before long, he's caught up in the wrong business with the people from the fairground passing through town. But, on the run from the law, he has nowhere else to turn. With his keen eye and trademark candour, Robert Edric takes his readers to the most desolate of places, to explore what a man is capable of doing when he has nothing left to lose.

The Devil's Beat

The Devil's Beat

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/10/2017

'We must prise opinion from fact, belief from supposition and guesswork from whatever evidence must exist...' It is surely a simple case of hysteria. Four young women allegedly witness a terrifying apparition while walking in the woods. Has the devil really revealed himself to them? Are they genuine victims of demonic possession? Or, as most suspect, is their purpose in claiming all of this considerably more prosaic? The eyes of the country turn to a small Nottinghamshire town, where an inquiry is to be held. Everyone there is living through hard, uncertain times. The king is recently dead. It is a new century - a new world looking to the future. But here, in the ancient heart of England, an old beast stirs... Four men must examine the substance of the girls' tales and decide their fate: a minister, a doctor, a magistrate, and Merritt, an investigator - a seemingly perfect blend of the rational, the sacred and the judicial. And yet, as the feverish excitement all around them grows ever more widespread and infectious, there is both doubt and conflict among the members of this panel. The Devil's Beat explores the unforeseeable and unstoppable outcome of this inquiry during an alarming and unsettling time, when the whole of that small world seems in turmoil as, one after another, hitherto dependable natural checks and balances, beliefs and superstitions are challenged and then shattered.

Field Service

Field Service

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/07/2016

Morlancourt, Northern France, 1920 In the aftermath of the world's bloodiest conflict, a small contingent of battle-worn soldiers remains in France. Captain James Reid and his men are tasked with the identification and burial of innumerable corpses as they come to terms with the events of the past four years. The stark contrast between the realities of burying men in France and the reports of honouring the dead back in Britain is all too clear. But it is only when the daily routine is interrupted by a visit from two women, both seeking solace from their grief, that the men are forced to acknowledge the part they too have played. With his trademark unerring precision, Robert Edric explores the emotional hinterland which lies behind the work done by the War Graves Commission in the wake of the First World War.

Sanctuary

Sanctuary

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/08/2015

Haworth, West Yorkshire, 1848. Branwell Bronte - unexhibited artist, unacknowledged writer, sacked railwayman, disgraced tutor and spurned lover - finds himself unhappily back in Haworth Parsonage, to face the disappointment of his father and his three sisters, the scale of whose own pseudonymous successes is only just becoming apparent. With his health failing rapidly, his aspirations abandoned and his once loyal circle of friends shrinking fast, Branwell resorts to a world of secrets, conspiracies and endlessly imagined betrayals. But his spiral of self-destruction only accelerates the sense of his destiny to be a bystander looking across at greatness, and the madness which that realisation will bring...

Sanctuary

Sanctuary

Author: Robert Edric Format: eBook Release Date: 04/12/2014

Haworth, West Yorkshire, 1848. Branwell Bronte - unexhibited artist, unacknowledged writer, sacked railwayman, disgraced tutor and spurned lover -finds himself unhappily back in Haworth Parsonage, to face the crushing disappointment of his father and his three sisters, whose own pseudonymous successes - allegedly kept secret from him - are only just becoming apparent. With his health failing rapidly, his literary aspirations abandoned and his once loyal circle of friends shrinking fast, Branwell lives in a world of secrets, conspiracies and seemingly endless betrayals. To restore himself to a creative and fulfilling existence in the face of an increasingly claustrophobic environment, he returns to the drugs, alcohol and the morbid self-delusion which have already played such a large part in his unhappy life. Sanctuary is a lacerating and moving portrait of self-destruction. In it, Robert Edric has reimagined the final months of one of the great bystanders of literary history, and, in so doing, has shone a penetrating light on one of the most celebrated and perennially fascinating families in our creative history.

The Monster's Lament

The Monster's Lament

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/02/2014

April 1945. While the Allied Forces administer the killing blow to Nazi Germany, at home London's teeming underworld of black marketeers, pimps, prostitutes, conmen and thieves prepare for the coming peace. But the man the newspapers call the English Monster, the self-procaimed Antichrist, Aleister Crowley, is making preparations for the future too: for his immortality. For Crowley's plan to work, he has to depend upon one of London's Most Wanted, ambitious gangland boss Tommy Fowler, who, presiding over a crumbling empire, can still get you anything you want - for a price. And what Crowley wants is a young man, Peter Tait, in Pentonville Prison under sentence of death for murder. Convinced of his innocence but unable to prove it, his only chance of survival lies in the hands of one detective struggling against the odds to win a desperate appeal that has little chance of success. The Monster's Lament is an extraordinary journey through a ruined landscape towards an ending more terrible and all-consuming than any of its participants can have imagined. When you're used to fighting monsters abroad, it is easy to overlook the monsters closer to home...

Book of the Heathen

Book of the Heathen

Author: Robert Edric Format: eBook Release Date: 28/01/2014

1897. In an isolated station in the Belgian Congo, an Englishman is to be tried for the murder of a native child. Imprisoned in a makeshift jail, Nicholas Frere awaits the arrival of the Company's official investigator while his friend, James Frasier, attempts to discover the circumstances which surround the charge.The world around them is rapidly changing: the horrors of the Belgian Congo are becoming known and the flow of its once-fabulous wealth is drying up. Unrest flares unstoppably into violence.Frere's coming trial will seek to determine considerably more than the killing of a child. But at the heart of this conflict is a secret so dark, so unimaginable, that one man must be willingly destroyed by his possession of it, and the other must both sanction and participate in that destruction.In a narrative of ever-quickening and growing intensity, The Book of the Heathen explores notions of honor, friendship, justice and reason in a world where men have been forced by circumstance to descend into an abyss of savagery and terror. Robert Edric's The Book of the Heathen is a stunning novel that truly evokes a Conradian heart of darkness.

In Desolate Heaven

In Desolate Heaven

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2012

Autumn 1919. Elizabeth Mortlake, companion to her widowed sister-in-law, meets Jameson and Hunter, two ex-officers striving for some new measure of peace and order amid the ever-lengthening shadows of the war - one still hospitalized and awaiting the judgement of a court martial, the other seeking a more personal atonement for his unimaginable sins. Drawn increasingly into their lives here at the calm centre of the changing world, she gradually understands what a fragile peace they now inhabit, and how the ideals and bonds which once sustained and kept the two men alive, now threaten to destroy them completely.

The London Satyr

The London Satyr

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2012

1891. London is simmering in the oppressive summer heat, the air thick with sexual repression. But a wave of morality is about to rock the capital as the puritans of the London Vigilance Committee seek out perversion and aberrant behaviour in all its forms. Charles Webster, an impoverished photographer working at the Lyceum Theatre, has been sucked into a shadowy demi-monde which exists beneath the surface of civilized society. It is a world of pornographers and prostitutes, orchestrated by master manipulator Marlow, for whom Webster illicitly provides theatrical costumes for pornographic shoots. But knowledge of this enterprise has somehow reached the Lyceum's upright theatre manager, Bram Stoker, who suspects Webster's involvement. As the net tightens around Marlow and his cohorts and public outrage sweeps the city, a member of the aristocracy is accused of killing a child prostitute...

Salvage

Salvage

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2011

It is the not too distant future. The Gulf Stream has ceased and the climate is plunged into turmoil. England has changed. Civil Servant Quinn is dispatched to conduct an audit on a remote plot of land up North, designated for a brand new model town. But he swiftly realises how inflammatory his presence is when confronted by those on the sharp end of the new reality: Owen, a suicidal farmer whose livestock has been destroyed after a slew of viruses; Winston, a disillusioned journalist with a gallery of photos that show the truth about the site; and Pollard, the local man of God whose faith is up for sale. But it is Anna, Quinn's sometime girlfriend, in charge of filling the dead cattle pits, who faces the deepest abyss of all. As the heavens open once again, the mountains of toxic soil that surround the site slowly begin to shift, and Quinn will face the ultimate test of his integrity.

In Zodiac Light

In Zodiac Light

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/07/2009

It is December 1922 and the aftershocks of the First World War continue to make themselves felt. Ex-soldier, poet and composer Ivor Gurney, suffering from increasingly frequent and deepening bouts of paranoid schizophrenia, is transferred to the City of London Mental Hospital, Dartford. Neglected by the military and by his own family, and abandoned by all but a notable handful of his friends, Gurney begins a descent into the madness and oblivion which he believes has long been waiting to claim him. Yet following his arrival at Dartford, there are still those who continue to believe in Gurney's capabilities - in his 'wayward genius'. For a brief period, it seems that he might find some calm and ease in his life, and thus achieve the status so many consider him capable of.

The Kingdom of Ashes

The Kingdom of Ashes

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/07/2008

Germany, spring 1946. The Nuremberg Trials are underway. Three hundred miles north, in the Rehstadt Institute, a British Assessment and Evaluation centre, Alex Foster interrogates a succession of lesser war criminals, exploring their pasts and their crimes, and deciding their futures in the soon-to-be-reborn Germany. But Rehstadt, a town largely untouched by the war, is a place of old hostilities and burnished hatreds; a place still not entirely at peace; a place where the certainties of the past are still weighed favourably against the deprivations of the present and the vague, uncertain promises of the future. As spring progresses, and as events in the wider world quicken to their own closely observed conclusion, Alex Foster finds himself at the centre of a conflict involving British, American and German interests; and for the first time in his career he also finds himself compromised - forced into subterfuge and deceit as he struggles to weigh personal convictions and loyalties against the greater political and military good...

Gathering The Water

Gathering The Water

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2007

It is 1847, northern England, and Charles Weightman has been given the unenviable task of overseeing the flooding of the Forge Valley and evicting its lingering inhabitants. Weightman is heartily resented by these locals, and he himself is increasingly unconvinced both of the wisdom of his appointment and of the integrity and motives of the company men who posted him there. He finds some solace, however, in his enigmatic neighbour, Mary Latimer. Caring for her mad sister, Mary is also an outsider, and a companionship develops between the two of them which offers them both some comfort and support in their mutual isolation. As winter closes steadily in and as the waters begin to rise in the Forge Valley, it becomes increasingly evident that the man-made deluge cannot be avoided; not by the locals desperate to save their homes, nor by the reluctant agent of their destruction, Weightman himself. In a masterful new novel, Edric captures powerful human emotions with grace and precision. The hauntingly resonant backdrop to this story of David and Goliath marks Edric's dramatic return to historical literary fiction.

Swan Song

Swan Song

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2006

Hull, autumn 2005 and private investigator Leo Rivers finds himself at the overheated heart of an inquiry into the savage killing of several young women. Approached by the mother of the chief suspect, he soon discovers not only that this suspect is not involved in the killings, but that several hitherto unconsidered and scarcely credible connections link the murders to a single perpetrator. In pursuing his case, Rivers has to contend with an ambitious, career-minded Chief of Police, who will stop at nothing to make a name for himself, sacrificing not only Rivers but also his own colleagues along the way. Set against a backdrop of the Humber and the long and violent destruction of Hull's once-cherished fishing industry, Robert Edric reveals a world of exploitation and ambition; a world of old men who burnish their festering grievances and vanities; and a world of long-suppressed but finally uncontainable brutality, in this final volume of a trilogy of outstanding and acclaimed contemporary noir.

Cradle Song

Cradle Song

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2004

An imprisoned paedophile and child murderer unexpectedly appeals his conviction. In return for a reduced sentence, he offers to implicate those involved in the crimes who were never caught; to provide evidence of Police corruption at the time of the original investigation; and, most importantly, to reveal where the corpses of several long-sought, but never found teenage girls are buried. Unhappy at what may be about to happen, but at the same time desperate to locate the body of his own missing daughter, the father of one of these girls approaches Private Investigator Leo Rivers with a plea for help. Rivers' enquiries stir cold and bitter memories. Long-dead enmities flare suddenly into violence and a succession of new killings. Everyone involved, then and now, and on both sides of the law, is unprepared for the suddenness and ferocity with which these old embers are fanned back into life. As the investigation progresses, it gathers momentum, and now must speed inexorably to the even greater violence and sadness of its conclusion. The first of a trilogy of contemporary crime novels set in the city of Hull, Robert Edric's new novel is reminiscent of Chandler and Mosley, and yet remains uniquely British. Against the backdrop of Internet pornography, Police corruption and child murder, this dark and intense novel reads like a game of chess where each piece is invested with a deceptive significance.

Broken Lands

Broken Lands

Author: Robert Edric Format: eBook Release Date: 14/02/2003

The Broken Lands-a treacherous labyrinth of ice through which the fabled Northwest Passage was sought for centuries. Cabot, Frobisher, Hudson, Parry and Ross were all defeated, and the names on the maps testify to their despair: Bay of God's Mercy, the Devil's Cape, Savage Isles, and Repulse Bay. Determined to succeed where the rest had failed, Sir John Franklin-"e;the Lion of the Arctic"e;-set sail from Greenland in 1845. His two ships, the Erebus and the Terror, were last sighted in August of that year, after which the entire expedition-all 135 men-disappeared.For three years, the two ships were trapped in the Arctic ice. Eventually the slow vise of the ice pack and spoiling provisions proved to be too much. Nothing was heard of Franklin's expedition for over a decade, and only many years later did the world begin to learn of their terrible, agonizing fate. In this enthralling, richly inventive novel, Robert Edric recreates what possibly happened to this doomed expedition.

The Book Of The Heathen

The Book Of The Heathen

Author: Robert Edric Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/07/2001

1897. In an isolated station in the Belgian Congo, an Englishman awaits trial for the murder of a native child. Imprisoned in a makeshift gaol, Nicholas Frere awaits the arrival of the Company's official investigator, while his friend, James Frasier, attempts to determine the circumstances which surround the charge. The world around them is rapidly changing: the horrors of the Belgian Congo are becoming known and the flow of its once-fabulous wealth is drying up. Unrest flares unstoppably into violence. Frere's coming trial will seek to determine considerably more than the killing of a child. But at the heart of this conflict lies a secret so dark, so unimaginable, that one man must be willingly destroyed by his possession of it, and the other must both sanction and participate in that destruction. 'More disturbing even than Conrad in his depiction of the heart of darkness . . . it will be surprising if this year sees a more disturbing or haunting novel' Peter Kemp, Sunday Times 'Relentless . . . an impressive and disturbing work of art' Robert Nye, Literary Review 'Edric describes a compelling plot in fine, spare prose' David Isaacson, Daily Telegraph

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