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The Witchfinder's Sister
     

The Witchfinder's Sister

by Beth Underdown
 

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A thrilling debut novel, a literary historical thriller based on the devastating witch hunts in 1640s England conducted by “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins—for readers of Sarah Waters and Katherine Howe.

Before Salem, there was Manningtree. . . .

“This summer, my brother Matthew set himself to killing women,

Overview

A thrilling debut novel, a literary historical thriller based on the devastating witch hunts in 1640s England conducted by “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins—for readers of Sarah Waters and Katherine Howe.

Before Salem, there was Manningtree. . . .

“This summer, my brother Matthew set himself to killing women, but without ever once breaking the law.”

Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth—but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew’s soul.
  
There is a new darkness in the town, too—frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice’s blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he’s become, Alice is desperate to intervene—and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew’s reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul.

Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother’s brutal mission—and is drawn into the Hopkins family’s past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils—before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.

Inspired by the real-life story of notorious “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins, Beth Underdown’s thrilling debut novel blends spellbinding history with harrowing storytelling for a truly haunting reading experience.

Advance praise for The Witchfinder’s Sister

“Vivid and terrifying.”—Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

“Beth Underdown conjures a mesmerizing tale. The Witchfinder’s Sister will draw you into the terrifying world of England’s witch hunts. Read it late into the night, but don’t expect to sleep afterward!”—Paula Brackston, New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter

“Gripping . . . The Witchfinder’s Sister gives a long-forgotten historical tragedy a fresh, feminist spin. Beth Underdown, by providing us with this intelligent, sympathetic protagonist, allows us to see inside the hearts of both monster and victims while never letting us forget that throughout history women’s stories have too often been told by men.”—Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue

“A tense, surprising, and elegantly crafted novel.”—Ian McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of The North Water

“Bone-chilling and meticulously researched, The Witchfinder’s Sister brings home the true terror of a witch hunt.”—Mary Sharratt, award-winning author of Daughters of the Witching Hill

“A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel.”—Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Advance praise for The Witchfinder’s Sister

“Vivid and terrifying.”—Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

“Beth Underdown conjures a mesmerizing tale. The Witchfinder’s Sister will draw you into the terrifying world of England’s witch hunts. Read it late into the night, but don’t expect to sleep afterward!”—Paula Brackston, New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter

“Gripping . . . The Witchfinder’s Sister gives a long-forgotten historical tragedy a fresh, feminist spin. Beth Underdown, by providing us with this intelligent, sympathetic protagonist, allows us to see inside the hearts of both monster and victims while never letting us forget that throughout history women’s stories have too often been told by men.”—Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue

“A tense, surprising, and elegantly crafted novel.”—Ian McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of The North Water

“Bone-chilling and meticulously researched, The Witchfinder’s Sister brings home the true terror of a witch hunt.”—Mary Sharratt, award-winning author of Daughters of the Witching Hill

“A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel.”—Kate Hamer, author ofThe Girl in the Red Coat

“Anyone who liked Cecilia Ekbäck’s Wolf Winter is going to love this.”—Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

“Beth Underdown grips us from the outset and won’t let go. The Witchfinder’s Sister is at once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller.”—Patrick Gale, author of Notes from an Exhibition

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399179143
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/25/2017
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
990,979
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.84(d)

Meet the Author

Beth Underdown studied English literature at the University of York and worked as an intern at the arts and culture magazine Aesthetica. After becoming an editor at Phaidon Press, Underdown graduated with distinction from the University of Manchester’s Creative Writing MA program. She came across the story of Matthew Hopkins while reading a book about seventeenth-century midwifery. Underdown now lectures at the University of Manchester and lives in the Peak District, not too far from where she was born; the sense of history in that landscape is an important catalyst for her writing. This is her first novel.