Christopher Bowden has again created an intriguing, literary tale with a well drawn cast of characters. Actor Colin Mallory from ‘The Red House’ can’t help but investigate a mysterious painting. The descriptive quality of the writing takes you to the back streets of Paris, and lets you really feel you are solving the mystery hand in hand with Colin. There is a whiff of the supernatural, however this isn’t a chilling read, instead ‘The Purple Shadow’ is about the art world and about Paris.
In the years before the war, Sylvie Charlot was a leading light in Paris fashion with many friends among musicians, artists and writers. Now she is largely forgotten. Spending time in Paris during a break in his acting career, Colin Mallory sees a striking portrait of Sylvie. Some think it is a late work by Edouard Vuillard but there is no signature or documentary evidence to support this view. The picture has some unusual qualities, not least the presence of a shadow of something that cannot be seen. Perhaps the picture was once larger. Colin feels an odd sense of connection with Sylvie, who seems to be looking at him, appealing to him, wanting to tell him something. Despite a warning not to pursue his interest in her portrait, he is determined to find out more about the painting, who painted it, and why it was hidden for many years. Colin's search takes him back to the film and theatre worlds of Paris and London in the 1930s - and to a house in present-day Sussex. As he uncovers the secrets of Sylvie's past, her portrait seems to take on a life of its own.
Praise for his earlier novels:
“a rare glimpse into our recent history, far too rarely plundered by modern novelists, and deftly done.” Andrew Marr
"A novel as intriguing as the house at its heart. I loved it." Julian Fellowes
“...quintessentially English...an intriguing book, full of family mysteries and deception.” Oxford Times
“Very entertaining, cleverly constructed and expertly paced. I thoroughly enjoyed it.” Sir Derek Jacobi
Publication date: 22/09/2016
Publisher: Langton & Wood
|Publication date:||22nd September 2016|
|Publisher:||Langton & Wood|
|Genres:||Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Christopher Bowden lives in south London. His three previous novels are The Red House, The Blue Book, and The Yellow Room, the first published in 2007.More About Christopher Bowden