The Girl Who Couldn't Read
A sinister Gothic tale in the tradition of The Woman in Black and The Fall of the House of Usher New England, the 1890s. A man calling himself Doctor John Shepherd arrives at an isolated women's mental hospital to begin work as assistant to the owner Dr Morgan. As Shepherd struggles to conceal his own dark secrets, he finds the asylum has plenty of its own. Who is the woman who wanders the corridors by night with murderous intent? Why does the chief nurse hate him? And why is he not allowed to visit the hospital's top floor? Shocked by Morgan's harsh treatment of the patients, and intrigued by one of them, Jane Dove, a strange amnesiac girl who is fascinated by books but cannot read, Shepherd embarks upon an experiment to help her. As he attempts to solve the mystery of Jane's past his own troubled history begins to catch up with him and she becomes his only hope of escape, as he is hers. In this chilling literary thriller everyone has something to hide and no one is what he or she seems. The Girl Who Couldn't Read is the long-awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed international bestseller Florence and Giles but can also be read as a gripping standalone novel.
'Plentiful mysteries and good old-fashioned shocks punctuate this pacy and satisfyingly twisting coda' DAILY MAIL Praise for Florence and Giles: 'A darkly glamorous tour de force' DAILY MAIL 'Harding rings enough ingenious changes on James's study of perversity to produce his own full-blown Gothic horror tale' INDEPENDENT 'An elegant literary exercise worked out with the strictness of a fugue: imagine Henry James's The Turn of the Screw reworked by Edgar Allan Poe' THE TIMES
John Harding was born near Ely. He is the author of the bestselling What We Did On Our Holiday, made into an ITV drama starring Shane Ritchie and Roger Lloyd Pack. He is a book reviewer for the Daily Mail and lives in London.