by W. C. Ryan
A gripping and atmospheric murder mystery with a classic feel, from the author of A House of Ghosts, for fans of Agatha Christie.
The drive leads past the gate house and through the trees towards the big house, visible through the winter-bared branches. Its windows stare down at Harkin and the sea beyond . . .
January 1921. Though the Great War is over, in Ireland a new, civil war is raging. The once-grand Kilcolgan House, a crumbling bastion shrouded in sea-mist, lies half empty and filled with ghosts - both real and imagined - the Prendevilles, the noble family within, co-existing only as the balance of their secrets is kept.
Then, when an IRA ambush goes terribly wrong, Maud Prendeville, eldest daughter of Lord Kilcolgan, is killed, leaving the family reeling. Yet the IRA column insist they left her alive, that someone else must have been responsible for her terrible fate. Captain Tom Harkin, an IRA intelligence officer and Maud's former fiance, is sent to investigate, becoming an unwelcome guest in this strange, gloomy household.
Working undercover, Harkin must delve into the house's secrets - and discover where, in this fractured, embattled town, each family member's allegiances truly lie. But Harkin too is haunted by the ghosts of the past and by his terrible experiences on the battlefields. Can he find out the truth about Maud's death before the past - and his strange, unnerving surroundings - overwhelm him?
A haunting, atmospheric mystery set against the raw Irish landscape in a country divided, The Winter Guest is the perfect chilling read.
'A snowflake of a novel: intricate, exquisite, and unlike any other ... If Sebastian Faulks and Laura Purcell were to join forces, they might produce a novel like this … yet I can't imagine anyone but WC Ryan shaping it with such imagination, or charging it with such intelligence, or gracing it with such heart' - AJ Finn, international bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
'A stunning book, beautifully written. I felt the chill of the house and the sadness of the situation. And cheered at the end. I'm haunted by it' - Ann Cleeves
Published: May 2022