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The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown

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1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives. But home is no longer a place of safety... 'The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six...'


The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown

Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names. To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?


'Vivid and terrifying' -- Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

'A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel' Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat

'Anyone who liked Cecilia Ekback's Wolf Winter is going to love this' Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

'Beth Underdown grips us from the outset and won't let once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller' Patrick Gale, author of Notes from an Exhibition

'A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel' Ian McGuire, author of The North Water

'Beth Underdown cleverly creates a compelling atmosphere of dread and claustrophobia. ..Even from the distance of nearly four hundred years, her Matthew Hopkins is a genuinely frightening monster' Kate Riordan

'Superb: dark, terrifying and utterly compelling' Tracy Borman

About the Author

Beth Underdown lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. Her first novel, The Witchfinder's Sister, is based on the life of the 1640s witchfinder Matthew Hopkins. Beth's interest in seventeenth-century England was sparked by the work of her great-uncle David Underdown, one of that period's foremost historians. She came across a brief mention of Matthew Hopkins while reading a book about midwifery, igniting an interest which turned into an all-consuming hunt for the elusive truth about this infamous killer.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd March 2017


Beth Underdown

More books by Beth Underdown
Author 'Like for Like'


Viking an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd


368 pages


Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery
Historical fiction



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