THE VANISHED CHILD
Someone killed Richard.
Now Richard wants to know why.
New England, 1887. The millionaire William Knight is brutally murdered. The only witness, his young grandson, is shocked into silence, then disappears three days later without a trace--presumably kidnapped and killed.
Switzerland, eighteen years later. Baron Alexander von Reisden, intellectual, cynical, and suicidal after his wife's death, is "recognized" as the missing Richard Knight. Despite Reisden's insistence he is not Richard, he is drawn into the affairs of the Knight family--gaining the hatred of the family's adopted son, who stands to inherit the family fortune.
Yet as Reisden tries to find out why Richard died, he begins to have vague, unsettling feelings of familiarity. For he is a man without memory of his own childhood, and his obsession with finding Richard is leading him closer to a shattering truth.
And to a killer, still at large...
"Stunning…Tells a grim tale of murder and duplicity in stately prose that subtly enhances the psychological horrors…."- The New York Times
(Notable Book of the Year)
"A stunning tale of love, amnesia, child abuse, Victorian sexual repression and murder most foul….The satisfying denouement is a shocker." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Greed, suspicion, love, madness, and amnesia: Sarah Smith pulls it all together with a rare talent for telling a complex story in beautifully simple language." - The San Francisco Chronicle
"Smith deftly explores both the actual and the psychological mysteries…Highly recommended." - Library Journal
"Deliciously intriguing…an artful literary puzzle featuring the kind of thick period detail and narrative intricacy mastered by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, and by few writers since…. This one belongs on the permanent shelf." - The Philadelphia Inquirer
THE KNOWLEDGE OF WATER
How can a madman fall in love?
"I will marry you," Perdita Halley said to Alexander von Reisden at eighteen, "but not until I study music." Now, at twenty-one, she has come to Paris, his city--but music still stands between them. She is pursuing her dream of becoming a concert pianist; he is trying for the less likely one of becoming an ordinary, unhaunted man. They are drawn into an all-consuming passion that seems destined for tragedy. Perdita cannot marry and attend the Conservatoire; Alexander, still haunted by his past, fears to marry at all.
As incessant rain dims the City of Lights, an intricate network of plots and counterplots swirls around the couple. And an elegant game of art and life turns deadly, as a madman follows them, threatening to destroy them both in retribution for a murder they know nothing about--
Or do they?
"Stunning," said The New York Times Book Review of Sarah Smith's historical mystery, The Vanished Child. Now, with The Knowledge of Water, Sarah Smith delves even more deeply into the realm of deception and menace that she has made uniquely her own. Set in Paris during the devastating flood of 1910, The Knowledge of Water is a lush, complex, beautifully written novel about the consuming pleasures of passion and the obsessive perils of art.
"A lushly erotic, feminist study of artists and lovers and killers swept up in their obsessive passions. An exquisite stylist, [Smith] observes her characters in the most intimate detail, defining them with witty precision and placing them in a rain-drenched portrait of Edwardian Paris that could hang in the Louvre." - The New York Times (Notable Book of the Year)
"Intellectual stimulation of the highest order...a ripping yarn with provocative and substantial things to say." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Haunting...An accessible mix of historical speculation, literary allusion, and suspense, The Knowledge of Water could become this year's Name of the Rose." - Entertainment Weekly
"As satisfying a mystery as the Mona Lisa's smile." - USA Today
"Brilliant...This splendid book centers on earning the right to see--and to express what one sees, feels, knows." - The San Francisco Chronicle
"Envelops the reader with history, mystery and passion...Dark and engrossing, this production is magnifique." - The Boston Sunday Herald
A CITIZEN OF THE COUNTRY
A man in love is a man afraid.
Paris, 1911. André du Monde, director of a famous horror theater, has married a young girl from the country. As a child, André experienced something terrible. Now he can't be intimate with anyone except by frightening them.
His wife is frightened too. Because André keeps telling her she's going to poison him...
Alexander von Reisden, doctor to the mad and André's friend, seems to have outlived his own terrible past. He has a wife and a son, and work he loves. But now he has to help André, or lose everything too.
A man in love, a man afraid...a fight against terrible odds...a cursed film, a cursed love, and the shadows of war...A Citizen of the Country.
"A virtuosic fusion of speculative history, boldly stylized character drawing, and intricately plotted rousing melodrama...Fiction just doesn't get any more entertaining and satisfying than this. A bloody triumph." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A seductive storyteller...Taking inspiration from the chalky hills, the Roman history, the witchcraft legends and local landmarks that would soon be reduced to rubble in the war, [Smith] finds the ideal setting for resolving the sad, strange mysteries that have haunted Reisden since childhood." - The New York Times Book Review
"Stylish and literate... Readers will care about the splendidly realized characters, whose fates are decided in an eminently satisfying conclusion." - Publishers Weekly
"Though full of authentic detail, this isn't a typical 'historical novel,' but rather proof that certain human conditions--the public and private face of heroism, the complicated love we feel for family--are the same no matter the century." - Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice)
"[Smith] fills the third installment with endlessly satisfying plot twists, historical verisimilitude, and character development--and still manages to keep her eye on the overarching question: not so much "What country?" as "Where do I belong?"...A Citizen of the Country illuminates a society on the brink, a way of life about to be lost forever...and one man's journey, by the hardest roads, home to his family." - Detroit Free Press (four stars)
"Think Poe, Agatha Christie, A Tale of Two Cities and Chinatown, and you have an idea of the mix that Smith juggles so delicately--and so well." - New York Post
"The characters are so beguiling, the writing so evocative and detailed that one emerges from the books pages--and the ancient catacombs of Arras--as from a dark movie theater, surprised by daylight and the real world." - Orlando Sentinel
"Stunning...Sarah Smith skillfully takes readers into the dark world of the human psyche and spirit." - Romantic Times