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The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester
  

The Hourglass Factory

Historical Fiction   All Shortlists and Winners   Crime / Mystery   Maxim Jakubowski's Selection   
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Maxim Jakubowski's view...

Longlisted for the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown Award Longlist 2016.

A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

A splendid debut for a new Scottish author until now best known for her short stories, this is a bracing tale of teeming 1912 London set in the world of hardy, angry suffragettes and the colours of the circus, with an atmosphere that sits aside the best of Angela Carter and Sarah Waters. Troublemaking ersatz feminist and trapeze artist Ebony Diamond vanishes and her trail is taken up by tyro reporter and tomboy Frankie George. Historical pulp of the first order, with villains, corset fetishists and a bubbling vat of colourful crazies, thriving with life in a Dickensian version of London, this is bawdy, gripping but more importantly fun and brings the past to life with vivaciousness and pinpoint detail. Rather exhilarating.

The Lovereading view...

Prepare yourself, as once you dive on board, this riveting historical mystery demands that you keep up and hold on tight. 1912 London is not only brought to life, all of your senses are drawn in, you can feel the noise, taste the dirt, experience the pain and the resolute, relentless… sometimes fanaticism of the suffragette movement. The beginning, focusing separately on a would be journalist and a detective, can often feel as though you are in two divided worlds, however as the tension escalates they start to twist and writhe together building towards an explosive climax. Intrigue and suspense marches brazenly hand in hand with the vivid descriptive detailing and it is easy to lose yourself completely in the storytelling. This is an excitingly different read, combining a fascinating period in history with a stimulating mystery, fabulous stuff! ~ Liz Robinson

Who is Maxim Jakubowski

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Synopsis

The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester

1912 and London is in turmoil...The suffragette movement is reaching fever pitch but for broke Fleet Street tomboy Frankie George, just getting by in the cut-throat world of newspapers is hard enough. Sent to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly laced acrobat and follows her across London to a Mayfair corset shop that hides more than one dark secret. Then Ebony Diamond mysteriously disappears in the middle of a performance, and Frankie is drawn into a world of tricks, society columnists, corset fetishists, suffragettes and circus freaks. How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the mysterious Hourglass Factory? From the newsrooms of Fleet Street to the drawing rooms of high society, the missing Ebony Diamond leads Frankie to the trail of a murderous villain with a plot more deadly than anyone could have imagined...With a major film, Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham-Carter and Carey Mulligan coming soon, suffragettes will be back in the limelight once again, nearly one hundred years after they fought for votes for women.

Reviews

`Lucy Ribchester's The Amber Shadows is a spooky and complex psychological thriller set in Bletchley Park during the second world war. Atmospheric and engaging
Ian Rankin on The Amber Shadows

`A fascinating historical mystery from a talented new author...fascinating historical detail and brilliant description' * WE LOVE THIS BOOK * `A glorious tome encapsulating the London of 1912 set amidst suffragettes and circuses' * THE MITFORD SOCIETY * `A tale of murder, subversion, class and the fight for equality...A most enjoyable read
NAOMI FRISBY

* THE WRITES OF WOMAN * `This whodunit teems with larger-than-life characters...Yet this is also, in part, a historical novel, with landmark events (often not seen as being contemporaneous to one another)...all breathing life into Ribchester's London' * GUARDIAN * A sexy fast-paced historical murder mystery...a thrilling combination of corsets, Emmeline Pankhurst and female journalists...' * THE HERALD * `An entertaining romp' * THE LIST * `Set in London two years before the start of The Great War, it's a world where newspapers are produced in smoke-filled rooms up rickety stairs' * SUNDAY POST * `Unexpected plot twists, glamorous underworlds...a really mesmerising piece of historical fiction' * HELLO! MAGAZINE * `Its fast-paced plot fizzes with intrigue... this story is too good to miss. With a motley crew of characters and a helping of period detail, it is a fantastically fun page-turner that pulses with all the energy of London streets' * THE LADY * `Page-turning commercial historical fiction...a serious one to watch
VIV GROSKOP

* RED MAGAZINE * `Its energy, crackle and humour is infectious
ELIZABETH BUCHAN

* DAILY MAIL * `Rollicking whodunit adventure...terrific
Ian Rankin

About the Author

Lucy Ribchester

Lucy Ribchester was born in Edinburgh in 1982. She studied English at the University of St Andrews and Shakespearean Studies at Kings College London. In 2013 she received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award for the opening chapters of The Hourglass Factory. Her short fiction has been published in journals in the UK and US, and she writes about dance and circus for several magazines and websites including The List, Fest and Dance Tabs. The Hourglass Factory is her first novel.

Author photo © Kuba Kolinski

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Book Info

Publication date

15th January 2015

Author

Lucy Ribchester

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Author's Website

lucyribchester.com/
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Publisher

Simon & Schuster Ltd

Format

Paperback
512 pages

Categories

Historical Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Crime / Mystery
Maxim Jakubowski's Selection

Historical fiction

ISBN

9781471139307

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