'The Company is diabolically good . . . J.M. Varese's gothic tale is sinuously elegant and claustrophobic as deadly Victorian wallpaper' Kate Griffin, author of Fyneshade
Lucy Braithwhite lives a privileged existence as heir to the fortune of Braithwhite & Company - the most successful purveyor of English luxury wallpapers the world over. The company's formulas have been respected for nearly a century, but have always remained cloaked in mystery. No one has been able to explain the originality of design, or the brilliance of their colours, leaving many to wonder if the mysterious spell-like effect of their wallpapers is due simply to artistry, or something more sinister.
When Mr Luckhurst, the company's manager, and the man who has acted as surrogate father to Lucy and her invalid brother John since they were children, suddenly dies, Lucy is shocked to discover that there is no succession plan in place. Who will ensure that the company and her family continue to thrive?
The answer soon arrives in the form of the young and alluring Julian Rivers, who, unbeknownst to Lucy and John, has been essential to the company's operations for some time. At first, he seems like the answer to their prayers, but as Lucy begins piecing together Julian's true intentions, and John begins seeing spectral visions in the house's wallpaper, it becomes clear to Lucy that she must do everything within her power to oppose the diabolic forces that have risen up to destroy her family.
Set against the backdrop of the real-life arsenic wallpaper controversy of the late 19th century, The Company is a dark and haunting slice of gothic Victoriana, following one woman's fight to preserve all that she holds dear.
PRAISE FOR THE COMPANY
'A chilling gothic thriller...The story creeps up on you much as the patterns in its poisonous wallpapers do: entrancing, entwining, and entrapping' Hollis Seamon, author of Corporeality
'Varese brings to life the true grittiness of 19th-century London with great enthusiasm, combining historical fiction with a feel for the gothic thriller' Amanda Foreman, author of The Duchess
'The Company creeps up on its readers before it so splendidly pounces. The new master of suspense has arrived' John Bowen, author of Other Dickens
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