When former infantry officer Laurence Bartram is called to the small village of Easton Deadall, he is struck by the beauty of the place: a crumbling stately home; a centuries-old church; and a recently planted maze, a memorial to the men of the village, almost all of whom died in one heroic battle in 1916.
But it soon becomes clear to Laurence that while rest of the country is alight with hope for the first time since the end of the War, as the first Labour government takes power, the Wiltshire village is haunted by its tragic past. In 1911, five-year-old Kitty Easton disappeared from her bed and has not been seen since: only her fragile mother believes still she is alive. When a family trip to the Empire Exhibition in London ends in disaster and things take an increasingly sinister turn, Laurence struggles to find out what has happened as it seems that the fate of the house, the men and of Kitty herself may be part of a much longer, darker story of love, betrayal - and violence.
Elizabeth Speller studied Classics at university. She is a prize-winning poet, and has written three non-fiction books, including her memoir Sunlight in the Garden Granta), and her bestselling debut novel, The Return of Captain John Emmett.