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Hokey Pokey

"Set in a glamorous hotel in 1929, this genre-bending page-turner ripples with suspense and brilliantly bizarre gothic twists."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Got a thing for golden age crime? Like the sound of a novel that shapeshifts from an Agatha Christie-esque mystery into gruesome Brothers Grimm territory? You’ll love Kate Mascarenhas’ Hokey Pokey. Set in 1929, this ingeniously unexpected novel throngs with thrilling psychological depth and folkloric horror. Icily incisive, this astonishing story has all the potent punch of an absinthe infused Hokey Pokey cocktail.

One February evening, psychoanalyst Nora Dickinson checks into The Regent Hotel under a pseudonym. She’s travelled from Zurich to investigate a celebrated opera singer. Just as Nora’s making some headway, an elderly guest goes missing and she sees a strange dog in her room. At the same time, a heavy snow storm renders everyone isolated, and it’s not long before murder and madness emerge from the dankness.

Sandwiched between the mystery of the 1929 present are sections that lay bare Nora’s shockingly dysfunctional upbringing, and why she’s really shadowing the opera singer. The monstrous overtones of the revelations are nothing but wildly inventive, while the novel’s undertones explore the darkest echelons of identity and obsession. Rarely has a novel defied expectation, and its blurb, to such an intoxicating extent.

Joanne Owen

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