The Winter Folly by Lulu Taylor – Extract

The Winter Folly

Prologue

A strange, ghostly figure moved silently through the darkness, its white gown billowing out behind as it trod lightly along the stony path, never looking down but drifting onwards as easily as though it were a sunny afternoon and not the dead of night.

A large cold white moon shone hard above, casting a chill light and making the inky night sky around it glow navy. Stars glittered like scattered ice and beneath them the world had been leached of colour, leaving only gradations of grey and black.

The figure skirted the lawns of the big house where the grass was the colour of granite, and drifted past the walled kitchen garden. It went down the yew walk where the shadows were thick and huge hedges loomed on either side, then passed through the old wrought-iron gates that never closed, the ones flanked by high pillars with stone owls sitting on top. It walked out onto the bridle path and on into the woods. There were hoots and flurries in the high branches of trees, and brushings and shakings in the undergrowth, the snapping of twigs and rustling of dead leaves. A pair of eyes flashed eerie green and yellow, and there was the dark outline of a fox. The woman in white went on, moving without haste but with utter determination.

She turned off the bridle path and into the thicker darkness of the woods where the beams of the moon could not penetrate, then came out again into a clearing where a large dark form stood on the brow of a low hill – the ruins of an old tower that still reached high into the sky. The woman walked towards it, through its empty doorway and into the darkness beyond. She ascended the rickety broken staircase that wound upwards against the ruined walls, going slowly but surely, taking one careful step after another until she reached the highest point of the folly, where a few floorboards remained, blackened, sodden and slippery. The woman paused and then walked slowly over what was left of the floor to where a missing wall had created a gaping hole in the side of the tower. She stood there, luminous in the dark, her white expressionless face turned outwards, gazing over the trees, her hands still clutching the sides of her nightgown, which lifted and billowed gently against the night sky.

She seemed to stand there for an age. Then she turned her face up to the stars, her chin lifted with something that was either defiance or surrender. She looked outwards again, her eyes blank. Slowly, deliberately, she took one step out into the void and then plummeted, her nightgown fluttering like a flag, her hair spreading upwards. Her arms flew out, her fingers splayed, her mouth opened but no sound came out. Then she vanished, swallowed by the shadows at the base of the tower and there was a hard thud and a crack, sharp as a whiplash.

A deep and dreadful silence followed.

 Part One

Chapter One

1969

Alexandra called out: ‘John! John! Come back here!’

John turned to glance at her, his eyes sparkling as he giggled. Then he carried on running, his fair hair bright against the dark foliage. He was fast, considering he was only two years old, and the excitement of the chase only made him dash on more quickly.

She couldn’t help smiling at his merry little face; his soft plump cheeks, button nose and round blue eyes that were gradually changing to grey always softened her heart. All she wanted to do was pick him up and smother that sweet peachy skin with kisses. But she ought to be stern with him if he was going to learn to obey her. ‘John, do as you’re told!’ she said firmly. ‘Be a good boy for Mummy.’ She walked quickly after him, wishing she’d worn something sturdier than her smart square-toed buckle-fronted leather pumps, which were pretty but not at all designed for speed. They’d only come out to wander about the lawn, John on his new plastic tractor, but he’d climbed off and started exploring. After a time, he’d trotted off down the yew walk, stopping to inspect anything that took his interest, while she followed. Whenever she got near, he would straighten up and set off again, his pace surprisingly fast considering his short legs and little feet. At the end of the walk, those blasted gates were open, of course, the old wrought-iron ones flanked by high pillars with stone owls sitting on top. Alexandra had asked for them to be replaced and given orders that until then they were to be kept shut, but the gamekeeper claimed that they had rusted into place and could not be closed.

‘Can’t you oil them?’ she’d demanded, exasperated. ‘It’s dangerous with a small child running about.’

But the gamekeeper had simply looked at her with an expression that seemed to imply the child would be better off for being able to escape her smothering and run away into the freedom of the woods. Her orders still carried little weight, even now.

‘Don’t go through the gates, darling!’ she called, but he ignored her and wandered out between them, singing to himself. Alexandra upped her pace, picking her way along the muddy walk as quickly as she could. She didn’t like him being on the bridle path alone. Once she was through the gates, she could see him further on, quite a way down it already. He was probably remembering the way from walks with his father, perhaps when they’d taken his bucket and spade down to the river to dig up mud and pebbles, which he loved doing. He was far too young to fish yet and Alexandra had forbidden him being taken out on the river in the row boat. She herself hadn’t been down to the river for a very long time. Not even the swimming expeditions in the summer, when it was cool and refreshing, could tempt her. She stayed up by the pool near the house instead, perfectly happy to swim in the turquoise chlorinated and overwarm water, and sunbathe on a lounger on the concrete surround, like a tourist at a hotel. The gamekeeper thought she was afraid of the woods, like some of the old men in the village who claimed that ghosts of Roman soldiers were clanking around in there. Somebody’s legions had marched through and the Saxons had ambushed them and cut them to ribbons. They were supposed to be on the march still, homesick, bloodied and bent on revenge. But she didn’t believe all that, of course. Ghosts were absurd, and the wails and screeches that came from the woods at night were those of unfortunate rabbits, caught by a fox or in the metal teeth of those awful traps the keeper put out. The stories had no doubt been spread to scare away poachers.

There was another reason altogether why she never went there.

‘John!’ she called. ‘Come here, darling! Wait for me!’

He laughed again, his short legs moving even faster. He turned off the bridle path and began to follow a track. His red dungarees and white jumper were vivid among the dull wintery colours of the dead bracken, the black-leafed brambles and bare branches, and she saw his fair hair in bright flashes as he ran. She stepped in a patch of mud and slipped, catching her balance just in time to stop herself falling. Her snakeskin pumps and their gold buckles were spattered with black. She should have slipped on her boots and usually would have but they’d come out of the French windows instead of through the boot room. If they’d done that, they’d be wearing coats as well. She shivered. Her cardigan was too thin against the winter wind, and John didn’t have enough on, he ought to be inside. They ought right now to be climbing the stairs to the nursery, where the fire would be burning and Nanny would have set out his tea: boiled eggs probably, and golden-brown toast shiny with melted butter.

‘John! Come back!’ She began to make larger strides to catch up with him but he sensed her approach and put on another burst of speed. ‘Now, don’t be naughty, I shall be cross with you!’

But it was a game to him, she could tell. He had an innocent recklessness; he could run and climb easily enough but had no idea of danger or hurting himself. Only the other day, someone had left the picket gate by the pool unlatched and she’d found John about to take a step onto the tarpaulin that covered the swimming pool, unaware that it would give under his weight.

Now here she was in the woods, the place she disliked so much. Her skin prickled and goosebumped. The undergrowth seemed to be crowding in on her, reaching out to grab her with hundreds of long thorny fingers. She shrank away from it as she went down the path that was mushy under her feet from the recent rain, and gasped out loud when she felt something pluck at her. Turning, she saw she’d snagged her cardigan on a spike of a branch and she fumbled with it until she’d freed herself. When she looked back, John had gone.

‘John, John!’ She began to hurry along the path, fearing that if he turned off it and scrambled away into the undergrowth, he could be lost, disappearing in a moment into the thickets and bracken. She could see him at once, hiding for fun at first, curled up in a little nest beneath a bush like a dormouse, waiting to be found; then, as the cold grew greater and the darkness came down, he would whimper for her, sobbing out that he wanted Mummy as the animals of the night began to sniff around him. ‘John! Where are you?’ Her voice quavered but she tried to inject into it as much command as she could. ‘Come back at once, do you hear?’

She emerged suddenly into a clearing and stopped short, staring wide-eyed at what she saw before her: a folly, half in ruins, but still imposing, reaching into the afternoon sky. It had once been a high, handsome tower with arched windows and battlements, like a place where Rapunzel might have lived, but now it was mouldering and decayed, swathed in ivy, the few remaining battlements like jagged broken teeth. Most of the front of the tower had fallen away, and old masonry lay in heaps and hillocks, overgrown now, about its foot. It was possible to see that there had once been five floors, the bottom two now vanished but remnants of the others remaining, the fifth being mostly intact, though the old boards were no doubt soft and mushy with years of rainfall, frost and mildew. An old staircase twisted up the inside of the tower, treacherous with its broken and missing treads, perilous where the wall had fallen away. It was dark without and within, dank and cold, the breath of decay all around it, its stones thick with moss.

Horrible, rotten old thing! she thought, filled with a fearful revulsion. I wish they would knock it down!

The sight of the old ruin repelled her, and she was overcome with a sense of suffocation that made her want to run away. She saw it often in her dreams, a recurring nightmare in which she was forced to climb it in order to stop something dreadful happening, but she was never able to reach the top in time to prevent it. She hated seeing it in her dreams. The festering reality made her shudder.

She saw a flash of red from inside. John was in there.

At once a horror possessed her, the one she knew from her nightmares: choking panic and a desperate urgency to stop something terrible taking place. She began to run towards the tower. She heard his laugh again, and saw through the gap in the wall that he was climbing the staircase. She knew those stairs from childhood games when she’d been made to go inside: in some places they were as brittle and fragile as a thin layer of ice, ready to snap at any moment, and in others damp, turned spongy and yielding in the centre. A foot could sink down as easily as in wet sand, only below it was nothing at all. She wanted to scream and yell but her heart was pounding in her chest as she gained the interior of the tower. She looked up. It was open to the sky, which showed blue through the remains of the upper floors. Ivy swagged and hung from the old boards and joists, and branches crisscrossed where they had penetrated from outside. It smelt of sodden wood, wet stone and the bitterness of mould.

‘John!’ she called. He was going steadily up the staircase, one small hand pressed against the wall as he went, his tongue out between his lips as he concentrated on each step. He was making fast progress, his path keeping him close to the wall where the treads were strongest, and he instinctively avoided the gaps.

She gasped, her hands prickling with fear. He was surrounded by danger and with every step he took, its consequences grew greater. Below him were heaps of fallen stones, broken beams pointing upwards and worn to spearlike sharpness, rusty nails protruding from them. She imagined him fallen on one, impaled, and a grim nausea swirled in her stomach.

The little boy was higher now; he’d passed the empty first and second floors and was on his way up to the third. She had no choice. She ran to the staircase and began to climb as fast as she could but her progress was hampered by her need to take care. She was heavier than John – what supported him might not support her. Perhaps he was protected by his childlike faith in his own safety, but she was not and her imagination painted quick scenes for her: she lay with a broken leg or smashed ankle, helpless to reach him. No one knew where they were, no one would know where to look. Panic was threatening to choke her and her fingers trembled with adrenaline as she scrabbled for support on the slippery wall. Damn these shoes! she thought. Their soles had no grip, no tread, and she hated them with all her heart. If only she’d been wearing her blasted boots.

‘Stop, John, stop!’ she called.

For a moment he did stop, looking back over his shoulder and smiling at her, his big blue-grey eyes shining with amusement at their funny game. Then he turned back and lifted his little knee with determination to take the next step.

‘John! Please!’ Her voice broke on the words. She wanted to cry but there was no time for that luxury. She knew she had to stay in control. She went on from step to step, fearing that at any moment one would disappear from under her. Ahead of her John had reached the fourth floor and was still climbing. She was gaining on him, she was sure, but progress was so painful and slow. Now he was at the fifth, the staircase ended. He stopped again and looked down at her. The fact she was still coming seemed to propel him onwards and he trotted out across the floor.

She pulled in a sharp breath of panic; the floor was broken in places, and there was no telling where it had lost all strength. At this height the entire front wall of the tower was gone. John was walking towards the gap, at least thirty-five feet above the ground, where there was nothing to prevent him falling.

She found speed from somewhere, flying up the staircase two treads at a time, making split-second decisions about where to place her weight, hoping that her pace would not give the boards time to break beneath her. She heard ominous creaking and cracking as she went but there was no time for that now. All she knew was that she had to reach John as quickly as possible.

He was standing at the edge, one little fist on an outcrop of broken stone, looking out over the woods, his red and white figure bright against the black masonry and the dark trees beyond. A buzzing sensation filled Alexandra’s head and she felt sick and dizzy. The frightfulness of her beloved boy standing on the edge of the tower went beyond the immediate danger and into a more primal place, a pit where something so awful lurked she couldn’t bear to look at it. She was there, at the top of the stairs, on the landing, stepping out onto the boards. She advanced slowly, not shouting now but talking sweetly, calmly to the child as she took each shaking step across the black and slippery floor.

‘Now, John, what did Mummy say? This is very silly. Come away now, come back to me. Come on, shall we go home and find Nanny? Shall we go to the nursery for eggs and toast? You know how you like to dip the soldiers in and give them yellow helmets, and Nanny will let you have your favourite little spoon, won’t she?’

Each step took her closer. In a moment she would be able to reach out and grab him.

He stared up at her, smiling. ‘Neggs,’ he said contentedly. ‘Boil neggs.’

‘That’s right, darling, boiled eggs. Shall we go home and get warm? That’s enough playing for now, isn’t it?’

He nodded his fair head and turned towards her. He looked cold. A bitter breeze was invading the tower and bouncing off its broken walls. It ruffled his soft, straight hair and he gave a little shiver. He was ready to come home.

She smiled with relief and held out her arms to him. He let go of the stony outcrop and made to come towards her. His stout little shoe landed on a slippery wet patch and he lost his balance, beginning to topple. He was going to fall backwards on to his bottom, as he usually did when he stumbled, but this time he would not land with a little jolt, none the worse for it, ready to scramble up and totter off.

She saw his outline against the bare emptiness beyond the absent wall. She knew that he would fall out of the tower. The moment stretched and lengthened as he wavered, his arms held out stiffly, and then began to fall backwards. His eyes opened wide with shock and surprise. With the speed of reflex, Alexandra reached out, strong and fast, and seized the shoulder strap of his dungarees. Hold, hold, she told the little buckle, as it took John’s weight. It was all that was stopping him plummeting to the earth. It held as she yanked him towards her and the next moment he was safe in her arms.

He was quite still, happy at last to surrender to her, comforted by her warm arms wrapped around him. She buried her face in his hair and hugged him tight, not sure whether she was going to cry, laugh or scream.

‘Mummy’s here,’ she murmured instead, her hands shaking. ‘You’re all right, my darling. Mummy’s here.’

Chapter Two

Present day

Delilah sneezed, once, twice, three times in quick succession. The dust up here in the attics had formed layers of grey wool as thick as a carpet, and she had disturbed so much that the air had turned smoky with it. It swirled about, tickling her nostrils and coating her throat. The light from the bare bulb illuminated the clouds of motes, along with all the trunks, boxes, rolled carpets, old pictures, broken furniture and mountains of general bric-a-brac that filled the attics, a series of four on this side of the house, stretching the length of the east wing.

‘Go up if you like,’ John had said when she’d asked. ‘God knows what you’ll find. Mess around as much as you want to.’

It was the only place in the house that she was allowed free rein. When she’d come to live at Fort Stirling six months ago, she’d imagined that she would begin to feel that it belonged to her and that she could control and perhaps even reshape it, just as she had other places where she’d lived. She’d had a childlike excitement in exploring the house, and longed to set her imagination loose on the rooms and restore and refresh them. Everything was new and full of charm then, and she had fallen in love with the lichen-speckled stone pineapples on the terrace balustrade as much as the Louis Quinze chairs, gilded and spindly, in the drawing room. Every window, every corridor had enchanted her, and she’d felt that she had found her perfect setting, a magical place where life would be endlessly beautiful and interesting. But gradually, like seeing the set of a play close up, she’d realised that it wasn’t quite as magnificent as it seemed. The rickety furniture on gilt legs looked splendid but the springs beneath were dropping, the silk damask covering was stained and frayed, and there was black caked into the golden carving.

Now she was beginning to understand that newcomers were not permitted to change anything in the house. Instead she had the sense that the house would possess her rather than the other way around; it would tame her and turn her into one of its own, another in a long line of inhabitants, the vanished people who’d walked the same corridors, sat on the same chairs and slept in the same beds. The thought gave her an unpleasant chill.

Up here in the attics, though, where others rarely came, she could do what she liked. Perhaps here she might feel more like the house’s owner, rather than its inmate.

Delilah began to look through some of the boxes that surrounded her, finding a morass of odds and ends: a collection of broken picture frames, some discarded lamp stands without plugs, bulbs or shades, puzzling little plastic and wire whatnots that must have been part of something once. She stepped over a stack of chairs, lifted a pile of heavy folded velvet curtains and felt a flash of triumph. Now, this was more like it. A large steamer trunk, black and edged in studded leather, with a flat lid that locked with two big brass catches. On the top in scratched gold lettering were the words: The Viscountess Northmoor, Fort Stirling, Dorset. Labels, long faded and turned crisp, were stuck on the lid but it was impossible to make them out now. She drew in her breath with pleasurable anticipation. This was the kind of treasure she was looking for. She rubbed away a layer of dust from the top. Her hands, she noticed, were filthy and her nails rimmed with black. Her palms felt caked and dry, and she rubbed them across her jeans to get the worst of the dirt off before she opened the trunk. She snapped the catches down, hoping that the central round lock had not been fastened for there was no sign of a key and she had a feeling she would never find it. But it opened easily enough and she pushed the lid back until it was supported by its leather hinges. Immediately underneath was a layer of shallow drawers, filled with colourful scraps. There were ties, both knitted and silk, bowties, handkerchiefs, a cummerbund, scarves, belts and fans. Pairs of long opera gloves were folded into clear plastic bags and she could see pearl buttons, kid, silk and velvet.

‘Bingo,’ she whispered. ‘Bingo.’

This was what she had been hoping to discover. Costumes. After all, she had found a setting, a stage furnished with Chippendale and ormolu, Meissen vases and Sèvres china, gilt candelabra and inlaid cabinetry, marble statuary and vast gold-framed oils, black-and-white marble and ancient polished floorboards. She ate dinner in a perfectly round room decorated with wallpaper printed in a factory that had been destroyed during the French Revolution, and after dinner she sat back on a soft sagging sofa before an Adam fireplace, John’s spaniel snoozing at her feet, and read books from the library that no one had touched for a century or longer. But occasionally the art director in her felt there was something missing. Where were the clothes? She wondered what had happened to the silk gowns, the lace and velvet worn by the women in the portraits around the house. Passed on until they fell to pieces, she supposed. It was understandable that the Regency muslins and Tudor bodices hadn’t survived, but in the photographs from the last century were opulent furs, smart frocks, evening dresses, large-shouldered tweed coats, chunky black heels, snakeskin handbags and hats of all varieties. A snap of John’s great-grandmother showed her in a drop-waist dress with a pleated skirt, a long cardigan, a rose corsage pinned to a string of pearls that dangled past her waist, and a tight-fitting cloche hat over her fashionably shingled hair. Vintage twenties clothes.

She felt a hunger for them, her fingertips tingling with a desire to stroke the fabrics and furs she could see everywhere but not touch.

‘They’re bound to be about. We never throw anything away,’ John had told her idly one day, ‘and there’s been a distinct lack of daughters in my family.’

The comment had taken root in her mind. The clothes must be here somewhere, packed away or left in a forgotten wardrobe to rot gently on their hangers. She longed to find them. She couldn’t help imagining how she would style some skinny, high-cheekboned models and where she would place them in the house to the best effect. She wondered if she could stage a play or an opera in the garden, and use the real clothes as her costumes.

Calm down, she told herself firmly. You’re racing ahead of yourself. Besides, John would never allow it.

Once he’d seemed to like her ideas for enlivening the place, and opening it up. But she was realising now that he’d never taken any of them seriously.

She pulled out the drawers and put them on the floor. Now she could see what lay within: piles of clothes neatly folded. She began to look through them reverently. They’d been put away with care – she didn’t want to disturb them unnecessarily. The colours and fabrics were not twenties or thirties, but sixties and seventies: yellows, purples and greens; short-sleeved knits, A-line skirts, paisley and zigzags and bold prints. They must have belonged to John’s mother – she was surely the only woman living here then. Delilah’s mouth watered. She had hoped for something older, but this was just the start. She would enjoy these too. Perhaps she’d find some treasures, some designer originals. At the bottom she saw some weighty looking dark cloth, folded so that she could not see what it was. She pulled it up and out of the trunk, trying not to disrupt the layers above it, and then she could see it was a coat in heavy black wool, double-breasted

with large black buttons and, by the looks of it, short. It would sit just above the knee, she reckoned. The reason it seemed so bulky was that inside was a matching dress, also black but edged with white around the scooped neckline. It was beautifully made, with perfect seams and a silk lining. The label was not one she recognised but the quality was evident.

Gorgeous, thought Delilah. So elegant.

She shook the garments out and sniffed. They smelled of time and dust, of wool left to age in the dark. It was one of her favourite scents. As a girl, she’d thrilled to that slightly bitter aroma in the old dress shop where the eccentrically dressed owner, a woman with wild grey hair, sat sewing silently as Delilah burrowed into the heaps of abandoned coats or the racks of evening frocks. She examined the dress and coat, and wondered if they had indeed belonged to John’s mother, whose face she only knew from the watercolour portrait in the drawing room and the few photographs scattered about the house in silver frames. The photographs showed a young woman, impossibly slender, in the fashions of the late sixties and early seventies, with backcombed dark hair and large eyes emphasised by a swoop of black eyeliner and false lashes. Delilah smoothed her hand over the fabric, remembering the strikingly pretty face, its pale skin and elfin features dominated by those huge eyes. She’d been struck by the look of vulnerability in them, and the slight awkwardness in the way the woman faced the camera. How strange to be touching something that John’s mother wore all those years ago. How could she have known that one day her son’s wife would stroke this dress and think about her?

I wonder what happened to her, Delilah thought. She knew that John’s mother had died when he was a boy, but he’d never told her more than that. Sometimes, when she looked at the photograph that showed John as a small child and his mother in a coat and big sunglasses clasping his hand tightly, she felt the urge to know what the woman was thinking as she gazed impassively into the camera, shielded by her glasses. But there was no way of knowing now.

The coat and dress were on the small side, as vintage garments often were, but Delilah had a feeling that they might fit her. On impulse, she jumped up, kicked off her Converse and quickly shed her jumper and jeans, then unzipped the dress’s under-arm fastening and, pushing her arms into the cool silk interior, began to snake her way into it.

She feared breaking the seams but she managed to wiggle herself until her head and arms were free and she could slide the dress down over her hips. When she’d pulled the zip up, the dress was snug but it did fit, just. She wished she could see it but there was no mirror up in the attic. As she’d suspected, the dress fell just to the knee and she imagined what kind of shoes might be worn with it. kitten-heeled winklepickers, perhaps. No, that didn’t feel right. This dress came from an era of square heels and toes, stacked heels . . . Boots, perhaps? Long black boots that hugged the calves and came up the knee. Laced. Maybe . . . Delilah picked up the coat and felt the weight. Good quality. She slid her arms into it. The sleeves were tight but otherwise it fitted well, falling to the exact length of the dress. Lovely . . . It was old but it still felt stylish, almost fresh. She spun round. Perhaps she could wear this to something, a lunch or a trip to town.

She put her hands into the pockets and at once felt something under the fingers of her right hand. She grasped it and pulled it out. It was the remains of a flower, something that once had been pale – white or pink – though it was now crisp and brown. As she touched it, it crumbled under her fingers, the green-grey stalk falling apart, dropping to the ground and disappearing between a gap in the boards.

As she stared at the dusty remnants, a chill coursed through her body and a strong sense of sadness washed over her. She brushed the flower from her hands as fast as she could, gripped suddenly by a black sensation that seemed to engulf her. She wanted to get the clothes off as fast she could. The idea of wearing them to anything at all seemed absurd. They were freighted with something unpleasant, chilling, something that wanted to drag her down into a dark and fearful place. She struggled out of the coat, letting it drop to the floor despite the thick dust there, and then wrestled for a few moments to get the dress up and over her head, hearing her breath coming in short, almost panicked bursts as she grew increasingly desperate to be free of it. Then it slid up and off, releasing her.

She stared at the abandoned garments, astonished at the depth of feeling that had just possessed her. Shivering in the cool attic air, she realised she was wearing just her underwear. The clothes lay in a black puddle on the floor, the arms of the coat splayed out as though silently requesting an embrace.

‘Delilah!’ The voice from the bottom of the attic staircase pierced the air.

She jumped violently, then shivered. John. It was all right. ‘Up here!’ she called back, her voice surprisingly normal.

‘Lunch is ready.’

‘I’ll be right there!’ She shivered again, and reached for her clothes. When she was dressed, she picked up the coat and dress, folded them hastily and put them back into the trunk. She slotted the drawers back into place and closed the lid.

I’ll come and look at the other things later, she promised herself, though she felt uncertain if she would want to come back alone. Shaking off the last remnant of the nasty black feeling, she headed for the stairs and the normality of lunch with John in the round dining room.


Excerpted from The Winter Folly by Lulu Taylor. Copyright © 2013 by Lulu Taylor.
First published in electronic form 2013 by Pan Books. First published in paperback 2014 by Pan Books, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. Pan Macmillan, 20 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RR, Basingstoke and Oxford. Associated companies throughout the world: http://www.panmacmillan.com
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Pan Macmillan Australia solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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