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Elodie Harper is a journalist and prize-winning short story writer. Her story 'Wild Swimming' won the 2016 Bazaar of Bad Dreams short story competition, which was judged by Stephen King. She is currently a reporter and presenter at ITV News Anglia, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News.
Set in AD 74, Elodie Harper’s The Wolf Den tells the enthralling tale of Amara, a prostitute enslaved to Pompeii’s lupanar brothel. Serving a rich feast of historic atmosphere with all the pace of popular drama, fans of spicy historic fiction will be left longing to devour the second course of this trilogy - think TV show Harlots set in ancient Pompeii. Educated doctor’s daughter Amara once lived free, but the poverty that came in the wake of her father’s death led to enslavement to the Wolf Den brothel, where her cell is adorned with a picture of “a woman being taken from behind” and a terracotta lamp “modelled in the shape of a penis” (the real-life lupanar brothel is famed for its erotic frescos). By day, the she-wolves visit the women’s baths and stalk the streets to draw business to the Den. By night, “the brothel passes like a scene from Hades: the endless procession of drunken men, the smoke, the soot, angry shouting,” until Amara lies in her cell, “unable to sleep, suffocated by rage”. When fellow she-wolf Victoria says how lucky they are, Amara’s retort is characteristically sharp: “Here we all are…Four penniless slaves sucking off idiots for bread and olives. What a life.” And a life she refuses to settle for when “the desire to escape takes hold, its roots digging deep under her skin, breaking her apart.” Harper’s style is exhilaratingly direct, with images lingering long in the mind’s eye. You smell the oil lamps and temple incense, taste sticky figs, feel physical blows, and the dialogue packs powerful punch too. It’s a vivacious piece of work, and all underpinned by a woman’s longing for freedom.
'Utterly spellbinding' Woman & HomeSold by her mother. Enslaved in Pompeii's brothel. Determined to survive. Her name is Amara. Welcome to the Wolf Den... Amara was once a beloved daughter, until her father's death plunged her family into penury. Now she is a slave in Pompeii's infamous brothel, owned by a man she despises. Sharp, clever and resourceful, Amara is forced to hide her talents. For now her only value lies in the desire she can stir in others. But Amara's spirit is far from broken. By day, she walks the streets with the Wolf Den's other women, finding comfort in the laughter and dreams they share. For the streets of Pompeii are alive with opportunity. Out here, even the lowest slave can secure a reversal in fortune. Amara has learnt that everything in this city has its price. But how much is her freedom going to cost her? Set in Pompeii's lupanar, The Wolf Den is the first in a trilogy of novels reimagining the lives of women who have long been overlooked. Perfect for fans of Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls and Madeline Miller's Circe. Reviews for The Wolf Den: 'A compelling story of survival, friendship and courage. Amara and her fellow she-wolves are vividly drawn in a fascinating depiction of women at the time. Utterly spellbinding' Woman & Home 'Rich in historical detail, beauty and brutality, The Wolf Den brings to vivid life the doomed city of Pompeii and the powerlessness of its women. I loved it' Caroline Lea, author of The Glass Woman 'A vivacious piece of work underpinned by a woman's longing for freedom' LoveReading 'Utterly gripping' Daisy Dunn, author of In the Shadow of Vesuvius 'Unflinching ... The best book I've read in ages' Sophie van Llewyn, author of Bottled Goods 'The best historical fiction holds a mirror up to the present and The Wolf Den is a triumph. Harper transports us thousands of years and thousands of miles and yet we see ourselves reflected there' Claire McGlasson, author of The Rapture 'A riveting tale of power, love, hate, privilege, female empowerment and female friendships found in the most unlikely situations' Buki Papillon, author of An Ordinary Wonder
'Chilling, intelligent, and highly addictive. Superb.' Will Dean, author of Dark Pines Three women have been found dead in East Anglia. The police deny a connection. TV news reporter Frankie smells a story. Ava knows the threat is real. She's been kidnapped by a stranger who seems to know everything about her. Now she must fight both to stay alive and to stay sane. As Frankie follows the case, she enters a terrifying online world where men's rage against women has turned murderous - and where her persistence will make her a target. The Death Knock is a compelling story of the hunt for the truth - at all costs. See what everyone is saying about this brilliant read: 'I was enjoying the reading of it so much, I slowed down the number of chapters I read at a time, in order to savour it for longer!' Amazon reviewer 'A great read, both thought provoking and chilling.' Goodreads reviewer 'A story that pulls you in immediately.' Amazon reviewer 'Easy 5* here... a tense atmospheric mystery that is highly addictive.' Goodreads reviewer 'A fast paced and intelligent thriller.' Amazon reviewer 'Cleverly plotted. Highly recommended.' Goodreads reviewer
'Chilling, intelligent, and highly addictive. Superb.' Will Dean, author of Dark Pines Three women have been found dead in East Anglia. The police deny a connection. TV news reporter Frankie smells a story... Ava knows that the threat is real. She's been kidnapped by someone claiming to be the killer: a stranger who seems to know everything about her. As Frankie follows the case, she enters a terrifying online world where men's rage against women may be turning murderous - and where her persistence might just make her a target. And Ava must struggle not only to stay alive... but to stay sane. From journalist Elodie Harper, The Death Knock is a compelling story of the worst that man can do and the hunt for the truth - at all costs. See what everyone is saying about this brilliant read: 'I was enjoying the reading of it so much, I slowed down the number of chapters I read at a time, in order to savour it for longer!' Amazon reviewer 'A great read, both thought provoking and chilling.' Goodreads reviewer 'A story that pulls you in immediately.' Amazon reviewer 'Easy 5* here... a tense atmospheric mystery that is highly addictive.' Goodreads reviewer 'A fast paced and intelligent thriller.' Amazon reviewer 'Cleverly plotted. Highly recommended.' Goodreads reviewer
A chilling debut for fans of Mo Hayder and Sharon Bolton. Welcome to HMP Halvergate. If you're lucky, you'll get to leave. Dr Janet Palmer was glad to take a new job as lead psychologist at a remote Norfolk prison. She may live to regret it... The staff are hostile, violence can break out at any time, no one will tell her what happened to her predecessor, and there are rumours of an eyeless woman stalking the corridors, driving the prisoners to suicide. Janet is determined to find answers. But the deeper she digs, the more she realises: something is rotten in Halvergate. And it's nothing as simple as ghosts...
SIX SCARY STORIESSELECTED AND INTRODUCED BY STEPHEN KINGWinning stories from The Bazaar of Bad Dreams Hodder-Guardian competitionThe Number 1 bestselling writer Stephen King introduces and presents six gripping and chilling stories in this captivating anthology:WILD SWIMMING by Elodie HarperEAU-DE-ERIC by Manuela SaragosaTHE SPOTS by Paul Bassett DaviesTHE UNPICKING by Michael ButtonLA MORT DE L'AMANT by Stuart JohnstoneTHE BEAR TRAP by Neil HudsonStephen King discovered these stories when he judged a competition run by Hodder & Stoughton and the Guardian to celebrate publication of his own collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. He was so impressed with the entries that he recommended they were published together in one book.Reader beware: the stories will make you think twice before cuddling up to your old soft toy, dipping your toe into the water or counting the spots on a leopard...