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Silence and Shadows

By James Long

Patrick Kane is a man haunted by his past.

Now he hopes to take refuge from his memories, heading an archaeological dig in a Cotswold village, uncovering Roman mosaics. But there is something more tantalising in the soil of Wytchlow. It is only a myth, a local folk tale, sung one night by an otherwise mute man, the song of a Saxon queen buried close by. Yet it captures Patrick’s imagination as nothing has for years.

As the dig continues and the covering of the centuries is peeled back, Patrick finds himself falling in love with a beautiful local woman. He senses a connection between her and the lost queen – and soon discovers that his destiny is powerfully entwined with both of them.

James Long is a brilliant storyteller with a fascination for the links between the past and the present, links seen in both human behaviour and the natural landscape. Silence and Shadows is his finest and most moving novel yet.

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