The Purple Shadow

The Purple Shadow

3.96 (23 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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In the years before the war, Sylvie Charlot was a leading light in Paris fashion with many friends among musicians, artists and writers. Now she is largely forgotten. Spending time in Paris during a break in his acting career, Colin Mallory sees a striking portrait of Sylvie. Some think it is a late work by Edouard Vuillard but there is no signature or documentary evidence to support this view. The picture has some unusual qualities, not least the presence of a shadow of something that cannot be seen. Perhaps the picture was once larger. Colin feels an odd sense of connection with Sylvie, who seems to be looking at him, appealing to him, wanting to tell him something. Despite a warning not to pursue his interest in her portrait, he is determined to find out more about the painting, who painted it, and why it was hidden for many years. Colin's search takes him back to the film and theatre worlds of Paris and London in the 1930s - and to a house in present-day Sussex. As he uncovers the secrets of Sylvie's past, her portrait seems to take on a life of its own.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 24mm | 206g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0955506743
  • 9780955506741
  • 2,433,453

Review quote

"A compelling read. You're drawn into the narrative immediately by the vivid description of a startlingly captivating painting and, as a reader, you're as invested in getting to the bottom of the mystery as the main character is. Bowden is a sharp observer and I loved his descriptions of Paris and London and Sussex and the people who live in both city and country. The novel also spends time describing the lives of jobbing actors and the British film industry in the 1930s. This may be fiction but you feel, as you read, that it comes from a place of knowledge." The Bookbag "Full of idiosyncratic touches and descriptions, this is a story that will keep you guessing." France magazine "Christopher Bowden has again created an intriguing, literary tale with a well-drawn cast of characters. Actor Colin Mallory from 'The Red House' can't help but investigate a mysterious painting. The descriptive quality of the writing takes you to the back streets of Paris, and lets you really feel you are solving the mystery hand in hand with Colin." Lovereading
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About Christopher Bowden

Christopher Bowden lives in south London. His four previous novels are The Red House, The Blue Book, The Yellow Room and the Green Door, the first published in 2007
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Rating details

23 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 30% (7)
4 52% (12)
3 9% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 9% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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