A suspenseful tale of the truths that lie hidden in the human heart.
English doctor William Abbey stood by and said nothing while a white mob set a Zulu boy on fire in Natal in 1884. The boy’s mother cursed him, and now the shadow of the boy who died follows him implacably wherever he goes. As the shadow draws near, Abbey sees the truth in people’s hearts; if it reaches him, someone he loves dies. Where he sees a curse, others see a tool, and before long, he’s drawn into service as a spy. Abbey says he wants a cure for his condition, but it’s when he meets a woman like him that what he truly wants, and what he’ll do to get it, starts to become clear. North (The Gameshouse, 2019, etc.) has reached back into her seemingly bottomless bag of tricks and pulled out another striking and unusual story—and this one marries an original concept with a straightforwardly suspenseful plot, making it more accessible than some of her other recent work. “Truth,” says one of the truth-speakers, “is imperceptible to human eyes, because we are so caught up in being ourselves that we are never simply here, seeing, here, being, here." This is a world-spanning cat-and-mouse chase that tackles big questions about the nature of truth and whether we can ever really know one another or ourselves.
True love, life and death, what’s worth dying—or killing—for: It’s all here in this gripping, bloody, and haunting novel.