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About The Book

Pre-order HOLMES & MORIARTY - the clever and intriguing new crime mystery from Sunday Times bestselling author Gareth Rubin, out in hardback Autumn 2024.

'The Turnglass is a bold, breathtaking piece of writing that absolutely nails its two books in one conceit. I doubt I’ll ever read anything like it again, which is the highest compliment I can offer' Stuart Turton

'Not just a book, but an experience - one in which twists and turns are both on the page and in the very act of reading itself. Two haunting narratives conspire to create a dark, menacing tale that spans half a century of secrets as they echo back and forth - all while the sand slowly drains away . . . This is a story about stories and their perspectives, the passage of time and the slow march of the inevitable. Vivid, resonant, melancholy and beautiful' Janice Hallett

‘A stunning, ingenious, truly immersive mystery. The Turnglass is a thrilling delight' Chris Whitaker

Stuart Turton meets The Magpie Murders in this immersive and unique story for fans of clever crime fiction.

1880s England. On the bleak island of Ray, off the Essex coast, an idealistic young doctor, Simeon Lee, is called from London to treat his cousin, Parson Oliver Hawes, who is dying. Parson Hawes, who lives in the only house on the island – Turnglass House – believes he is being poisoned. And he points the finger at his sister-in-law, Florence. Florence was declared insane after killing Oliver’s brother in a jealous rage and is now kept in a glass-walled apartment in Oliver’s library. And the secret to how she came to be there is found in Oliver’s tête-bêche journal, where one side tells a very different story from the other.

1930s California. Celebrated author Oliver Tooke, the son of the state governor, is found dead in his writing hut off the coast of the family residence, Turnglass House. His friend Ken Kourian doesn’t believe that Oliver would take his own life. His investigations lead him to the mysterious kidnapping of Oliver’s brother when they were children, and the subsequent secret incarceration of his mother, Florence, in an asylum. But to discover the truth, Ken must decipher clues hidden in Oliver’s final book, a tête-bêche novel – which is about a young doctor called Simeon Lee . . .


'Rubin has pulled off the difficult trick of writing an ambitious novel that is also an easy, enjoyable read' The Times, Crime Book of the Month

'An intricate and thoroughly mesmerising tale of family plots and schemes across several generations' Guardian

'Your initial amazement at his ingenuity comes to sit alongside an appreciation of the heart and depth he brings to his stories. A risky idea, beautifully executed'The Telegraph

‘If immersive fiction is for you, you’ll adore this tête-bêche novel . . . Expect two very different stories that magically come together' Belfast Telegraph

‘Wildly clever and evocative, I adored it’ Angela Clarke

About The Author

Gareth Rubin writes about social affairs, travel and the arts for British newspapers. In 2013 he directed a documentary about therapeutic art at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in London ('Bedlam'). His books include The Great Cat Massacre, which details how the course of British history has been changed by people making mistakes; Liberation Square, a thriller set in Soviet-occupied London; and The Winter Agent, a thriller set in Paris in 1944. He read English Literature at the University of St Andrews and trained at East 15 Acting School.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (August 31, 2023)
  • Length: 512 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398514492

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Raves and Reviews

‘Wildly clever and evocative, I adored it’ Angela Clarke

‘Rubin deserves top marks for originality and for braving such a niche literary format . . . what really stands out is the masterful way the tales are cemented together. Believable characters and accomplished characterization add to the suspense, and with Rubin’s expressive and easily digestible prose both stories can appreciated as old-fashioned murder mysteries' The Lady

‘Murder, mystery and secrets combine to create a dazzling achievement that will hook you in' Best Magazine

‘It’s an incredible book, it’s so different. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before’ Quick Book Reviews Podcast

‘You will feel yourself being drawn into the lives of the main characters and you will find it very difficult to put the books down' South London Press

‘The Turnglass is a narrative of mysterious beauty, locking two very different writing styles to tell two very different stories that are linked so, so very elegantly' Shots

‘This is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read this year’ Bay Tales

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