The Crow Garden

The Crow Garden

3.17 (190 ratings by Goodreads)
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Susan Hill meets Wilkie Collins in Alison Littlewood's latest chiller. Mad-doctor Nathaniel is obsessed with the beautiful Mrs Harleston - but is she truly delusional? Or is she hiding secrets that should never be uncovered . . . ?

Haunted by his father's suicide, Nathaniel Kerner walks away from the highly prestigious life of a consultant to become a mad-doctor. He takes up a position at Crakethorne Asylum, but the proprietor is more interested in phrenology and his growing collection of skulls than the patients' minds. Nathaniel's only interesting case is Mrs Victoria Adelina - Vita - Harleston: her husband accuses her of hysteria and delusions - but she accuses him of hiding secrets far more terrible.

Nathaniel is increasingly obsessed with Vita, but when he has her mesmerised, there are unexpected results. Vita starts hearing voices, the way she used to - her grandmother always claimed they came from beyond the grave - but it also unleashes her own powers of mesmerism . . . and a desperate need to escape.

Increasingly besotted, Nathaniel finds himself caught up in a world of seances and stage mesmerism in his bid to find Vita and save her.

But constantly hanging over him is this warning: that doctors are apt to catch the diseases with which they are surrounded - whether of the body or the mind . . .

'[An] enjoyable excursion . . . gripping' The Sunday Times
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 143 x 223 x 34mm | 518g
  • Jo Fletcher Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1786485257
  • 9781786485250
  • 1,076,035

Review quote

An absorbing tale that plays adroitly with the concepts of reality and trust * CrimeReads * The Crow Garden flows smoothly, mixing atmosphere and language with effective precision . . . by far Littlewood's best, and by the looks of it, she's only going to get better. * British Fantasy Society * For those who enjoy the growing genre of dark Victorian Gothic fiction, this will prove a welcome addition, wrapped about with fogs and spirits and dangerous beauty * The Idle Woman * A masterclass in confusion -- Marie O'Regan * SciFiBulletin * Littlewood's dark and gothic style had me mesmerised from the very first page . . . a deeply compelling, fascinating novel, written in a way that had me, the reader, mesmerised also. * Book Babe Review * Alison Littlewood is one of the brightest stars in the horror genre at the moment . . . The Hidden People is impeccably written, quiet, evocative horror. It's yet another must buy from Littlewood * This is Horror * The atmosphere Alison Littlewood conjures up in The Hidden People is absorbing and there's a real sense of foreboding, you feel the fairies might show themselves at any moment. * Irish News * Hypnotic and intelligent with buckets of atmosphere . . . Littlewood expertly weaves themes of misogyny and mythology into a psychological page-turner that feels both familiar and fresh * SFX * There's an amazing sense of place and time in this novel, as Littlewood perfectly captures the literary style, attitudes, and class consciousness of Victorian England * Publishers Weekly on The Hidden People * Alison has been churning out intriguing and clever chilling stories that always manage to raise my heartbeat * on Alison Littlewood * A rare treat! I love the idea of novels about madness but it is rare that I find one so well written . . . a fantastic novel and highly recommended! * Life Has A Funny Way of Sneaking Up On You * A great seasonal treat -- Becky Lea * SciFiNow * Eerie and unsettling . . . Alison Littlewood has crafted a sublime blend of the psychological and the supernatural * Starburst * An excellent, chilling, autumn read, all about the dangers of power, obsession, and guilt, this is sure to be another hit * Blue Book Balloon * A book which I know I will want to re-read time and time again . . . a brilliant example of historical fiction * The Bookish Bundle * [A] deliciously atmospheric psychological thriller . . . will appeal to fans of Susan Hill and Wilkie Collins * BookRiot * A Gothic masterpiece * The Lady * [An] enjoyable excursion . . . gripping * The Sunday Times * Excellent . . . she creates a chilling atmosphere of skulls, seances, secrets and hysteria -- Antonia Senior * The Times *
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About Alison Littlewood

Alison Littlewood is the author of six novels, all published by Jo Fletcher Books. A Cold Season was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, where it was described as 'perfect reading for a dark winter's night.' Recent historical chillers The Hidden People and The Crow Garden received wide critical acclaim.

Alison's short stories have won the Shirley Jackson Award and been shortlisted for the British Fantasy award, and have appeared in numerous 'Best of the Year' anthologies.

Alison lives with her partner Fergus in Yorkshire, England, in a house of creaking doors and crooked walls. You can talk to her on twitter @Ali__L, see her on Facebook and visit her at
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Rating details

190 ratings
3.17 out of 5 stars
5 11% (20)
4 31% (58)
3 32% (60)
2 21% (39)
1 7% (13)
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