THE BEHOLDERS de Hester Musson

The gothic historical debut of 2024.

by Hester Musson
4th Estate, January 2024
(via Mushens Entertainment)

June, 1878. The body of a boy is pulled from the depths of the River Thames, suspected to be the beloved missing child of the widely admired Liberal MP Ralph Gethin.

Four months earlier. Harriet is a young maid newly employed at Finton Hall. Fleeing the drudgery of an unwanted engagement in the small village where she grew up, Harriet is entranced by the grand country hall; she is entranced too by her glamorous mistress Clara Gethin, whose unearthly singing voice floats through the house. But Clara, though captivating, is erratic. The master of the house is a muchlauded politician, but he is strangely absent. And some of their beautiful belongings seem totell terrible stories.

Unable to ignore her growing unease, Harriet sets out to discover their secrets. When she uncovers a shocking truth, a chain of events is set in motion that could cost Harriet everything, even her freedom…

Hester Musson studied English Literature at Bristol University and has a Masters in drama from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. While pursuing an acting career, her day jobs included working in TV as a freelance autocue operator. She currently writes for Art Fund, the national charity for art, and its magazine Art Quarterly, and blogs for a nature conservation and rewilding organisation in Devon.

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