A Hangman for Ghosts

Top Five Books LLC
4
Free sample

“We are transported. We are consigned to the ends of the Earth. And we are therefore as good as dead to the realm and its judges. There can be no hope of reprieve…”

 

Gabriel Carver, the convict hangman of Sydney Prison, knows that none of his kind may depart Australia’s penal colony without the system’s leave. Then three people are murdered, seemingly to protect the “Rats’ Line,” an illicit path to freedom that exists only in the fevered imaginations of transported felons. But why kill to protect something that doesn’t exist?

 

When an innocent woman from Carver’s past is charged with one of the murders and faces execution at his hands, she threatens to reveal an incriminating secret of his own unless he helps her. So Carver must try to unmask the killer among the convicts, soldiers, sailors, and fallen women roaming 1829 Sydney. If he can find the murderer, he may discover who is defying the system under its very nose. His search will take him back to the scene of his ruin—to London and a past he can never remake nor ever escape, not even at the edge of the world.


“Baltakmens, echoing the voices of 19th-century masters like Conrad and Melville, combines adventure and mystery in a high-stakes tale of class, morality, and justice.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Gabriel Carver is a great character, and Baltakmens’ style is intelligent and evocative.” —Historical Novels Review

“The story is a page-turner, a savory treat to be devoured.” —Foreword Reviews

 

From Andrei Baltakmens, author of The Raven’s Seal.

Read more
Collapse

About the author

Andrei Baltakmens was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. He holds doctorates in English literature and creative writing, and is the author of numerous short stories and three novels, including the historical mystery The Raven’s Seal (2012). He has lived in Ithaca, New York; Brisbane, Australia; and now makes his home in Palo Alto, California, with his wife and son.

Read more
Collapse
4.5
4 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Top Five Books LLC
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Jul 1, 2018
Read more
Collapse
Pages
288
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781938938290
Read more
Collapse
Features
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / International Mystery & Crime
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
From the author of the existential thriller ‘The Execution’ comes ‘Colony’, a novel set in French Guiana as the age of Empire draws to a close and anarchy beckons.

The year is 1928. Sabir – petty criminal, drifter, war veteran – is on a prison ship bound for a notorious penal colony in the French tropics. Soon after his arrival in the bagne, as it's known, Sabir is shipped out to a work camp deep in the South American jungle but quickly comes to the realisation that his old life is dead, and return to France an impossibility. Yet, if he's to survive at all, he must escape the brutality of the bagne. Posing as a professional gardener, Sabir wins the confidence and protection of the camp's naïve, idealistic Commandant. With a group of like-minded convicts – including the secretive, enigmatic Edouard, a comrade from the trenches of WW1 – he soon launches his escape bid, across the seas in a stolen boat. Bad weather forces the men ashore, condemning them to a dismal, hallucinatory tramp through the jungle. As hunger and rivalry tear the group apart, Sabir understands he has scant chance of escaping into another life.

In Part Two, Manne – deserter, itinerant exile – comes to the Colony in search of his deported friend, the same Edouard from Part One. With a false identity and cover story, Manne installs himself as a guest at the Commandant's house. There, he falls into an affair with his host's wife. Meanwhile, the Commandant is slowly unravelling, growing ever more suspicious of who Manne is and what he's doing in the Colony. Manne ends up trapped like everyone else in the bagne, and realises that he too must escape. The novel's two plot threads begin to merge – boundaries between dream and reality blur, bringing a surreal tinge to the dramatic climax.

Both a page-turning adventure story, and a bold novel of ideas, Colony takes an historical background familiar to readers of Henri Charrière's ‘Papillon’, and twists it into a metaphysical journey. Brilliantly evoking an atmosphere of colonial decline in the tropics, the novel explores the shifting natures of identity, memory and reality.

When the body of Thaddeus Grainger’s rival turns up stabbed to death in an alley just hours after their inconclusive duel, only one suspect comes to mind. Charged with murder, Grainger’s fate is sealed before his trial even begins.

A young gentleman of means but of meaningless pursuits, Grainger is cast into the notorious Bellstrom Gaol, where he must quickly learn to survive in the filthy, ramshackle prison. The “Bells”—where debtors, gaolers, whores, thieves, and murderers all mix freely and where every privilege comes at a price—will be the young man’s home for the rest of his life unless he can prove his innocence.


But his friends, the journalist William Quillby and Cassie Redruth, the poor young girl who owes Grainger a debt of gratitude, refuse to abandon him. Before they can win his freedom, however, they must decode the meaning behind the crude wax seal that inspires terror in those who know its portent and contend with forces both inside and outside the prison determined to keep Grainger behind bars.


Set against the urban backdrop of late 18th-century England, The Raven’s Seal unravels a tale of corruption, betrayal, murder, and—ultimately—redemption and love.

Praise for The Raven’s Seal:

“Baltakmens captures the flavor and scope of classic British fiction.” —Kirkus Reviews


“This atmospheric, character-driven, and plot-twisty bildungsroman is a worthy paean to Oliver Twist and Great Expectations.” —Booklist


“Baltakmens gives readers of The Raven’s Seal all of the history and the mystery his subtitle promises. The mood, color, details, and dialogue come across as very authentic . . . [his] characters would not be out of place in a work of DeFoe or Thackeray. In fact, there is much of the latter’s Barry Lyndon here, with its plots and duels and confidence games, as well as deft touches of the former’s Moll Flanders, with its bawdy wenches, prison intrigues, and period squalor.” —ForeWord


“The author’s exquisite prose rushes along full of surprises, shadows, betrayal, and squalid situations where the high-born and criminals intermix. A superb mystery with vibrant characters.” —Historical Novels Review

“‘A Better Man,' with its mix of meteorological suspense, psychological insight and criminal pursuit, is arguably the best book yet in an outstanding, original oeuvre.” —Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal

"Enchanting... one of his most ennobling missions." —Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

Catastrophic spring flooding, blistering attacks in the media, and a mysterious disappearance greet Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as he returns to the Sûreté du Québec in the latest novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny.

It’s Gamache’s first day back as head of the homicide department, a job he temporarily shares with his previous second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Flood waters are rising across the province. In the middle of the turmoil a father approaches Gamache, pleading for help in finding his daughter.

As crisis piles upon crisis, Gamache tries to hold off the encroaching chaos, and realizes the search for Vivienne Godin should be abandoned. But with a daughter of his own, he finds himself developing a profound, and perhaps unwise, empathy for her distraught father.

Increasingly hounded by the question, how would you feel..., he resumes the search.

As the rivers rise, and the social media onslaught against Gamache becomes crueler, a body is discovered. And in the tumult, mistakes are made.

In the next novel in this “constantly surprising series that deepens and darkens as it evolves” (New York Times Book Review), Gamache must face a horrific possibility, and a burning question.

What would you do if your child’s killer walked free?

©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.