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The Last Days of Leda Grey by Essie Fox
  

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Ed Peters, a young Fleet Street journalist, lives a hedonistic 1970’s lifestyle of which he’s grown weary. Whilst the country is in the grip of a stifling heatwave, Ed returns to his mother’s hometown of Brightland in an effort to make his peace with both her and his past. However, an encounter in a junk shop leaves him bewitched by the story of the young silent movie actress, Leda Grey. As he sets out to meet the reclusive actress both life and sanity are at risk as he enters Leda’s world and the secrets hidden away for over 60 years in her decaying cliff-top house.

The oppressiveness of the heatwave together with the trickery and magic of the silent films is incredibly atmospheric throughout the book; causing us to question what is real and what is a mirage, blurring fact and fiction. Essie’s writing is beautiful and sensuous, capturing the very essence of time, place and character perfectly. Even days after finishing this story I can still see Leda Grey sweeping through the house, both in her young innocence and later as the weary, tormented ghost of the girl she used to be. Yet there is more to this faded movie star than meets the eye. What secrets surround her and what horrors haunt both woman and house? Ed is soon drawn into her story and the curse that surrounds her. Haunting, sad and beautifully written, this is yet another stunning novel from the wonderful Essie Fox. ~ Shelley Fallows

If you like Essie Fox you might also like to read books by Wilkie Collins, M. M. Kaye and Anthony Quinn.

Synopsis

The Last Days of Leda Grey by Essie Fox

During the oppressive heat wave of 1976 a young journalist, Ed Peters, finds an Edwardian photograph in a junk shop in the seaside town of Brightland. It shows an alluring, dark-haired girl, an actress whose name was Leda Grey. Enchanted by the image, Ed learns Leda Grey is still living - now a recluse in a decaying cliff-top house she once shared with a man named Charles Beauvois, a director of early silent film. As Beauvois's muse and lover, Leda often starred in scenes where stage magic and trick photography were used to astonishing effect. But, while playing a cursed Egyptian queen, the fantasies captured on celluloid were echoed in reality, leaving Leda abandoned and alone for more than half a century - until the secrets of her past result in a shocking climax, more haunting than any to be in found in the silent films of Charles Beauvois.

Reviews

'Dark, haunting, compelling... equal to DuMaurier's novels - this book held me in its grip. Loved it.' Liz Fenwick, author of The Cornish House

'Macabre, transporting, thick with atmosphere and allusion' Morgan McCarthy, author of The Other Half Of Me

'Darkly sparkling. Very much enjoyed my days in Leda's twilight world. Doubt I'll sleep all that well tonight...' Anna Mazzola, author of THE UNSEEING

'A wonderfully creepy tale. Leda is a triumph' Vanessa Lafaye, author of Summertime

About the Author

Essie Fox

Before taking up writing Essie Fox worked as an illustrator – designing greetings cards and wrap, and decorative ceramics. She is the creator of The Virtual Victorian www.virtualvictorian.blogspot.com a wonderful guide through the Victorian world. Her debut novel The Somnambulist was selected as a Channel 4 Book Club choice in January 2012 and was shortlisted in the New Writer of the Year category of the 2012 NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS. Essie Fox divides her time between Windsor and Bow in the East End of London.

Click here to read a Q&A with Essie Fox about Elijah's Mermaid.

Author photo © Graham Keuteniu

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd November 2016

Author

Essie Fox

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Author's Website

www.essiefox.com/

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Publisher

Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Paperback
288 pages

Categories

Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction

Historical fiction
Romance
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781409146254

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