Beth Underdown

The Key In The Lock
  • The Key In The Lock


    'A gifted storyteller' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent

    'The Key in the Lock is an absolute triumph! Dark, clever and utterly enthralling, this is historical fiction - and storytelling - at its absolute best' Elizabeth Macneal

    'The Key in the Lock is the perfect gothic novel. It has secrets, guilt, brilliant characters, and a grand old house built on a terrible past. An absolute corker'Stuart Turnton

    I still dream, every night, of Polneath on fire. Smoke unravelling from an upper window, and the terrace bathed in a hectic orange light . . . Now I see that the decision I made at Polneath was the only decision of my life. Everything marred in that one dark minute.

    By day, Ivy Boscawen mourns the loss of her son Tim in the Great War. But by night she mourns another boy - one whose death decades ago haunts her still.

    For Ivy is sure that there is more to what happened all those years ago: the fire at the Great House, and the terrible events that came after. A truth she must uncover, if she is ever to be free.

    But once you open a door to the past, can you ever truly close it again?

    From the award-winning author of The Witchfinder's Sister comes a captivating story of burning secrets and buried shame, and of the loyalty and love that rises from the ashes.


    'Absorbing, beautifully written . . . Everything I enjoy in a gothic mystery' Rosie Andrews

    'A masterclass in atmosphere... haunting, vivid and urgent, like The Witchfinder's Sister, The Key in the Lock demands to be devoured whole' Stacey Halls

    'Brilliantly twisty, dripping with mystery and utterly heartbreaking' Emily Koch

    'Underdown's latest is a gothic mystery of the highest order. Chilling, sad, beautiful, and so elegantly conjured, it's a story that summons du Maurier but retains ghosts all its own. I raced through it, my heart in my mouth. Superb' Emma Stonex

    'Deliciously intriguing from the very first sentence, with shades of du Maurier and Dunmore. I was hooked by this exquisitely written tale of secrets and lies' Sara Collins

    'Captivating and elegant and undoubtedly a future classic' Lucie McKnight Hardy

    'A Cornish landscape evocative of Daphne du Maurier . . . brilliantly plotted' Louise Hare

    'The Key in the Lock will enthral fans of The Witchfinder's Sister. A brooding Cornish tale of a grieving mother obsessively unpicking the lies around the death of the child of the man she secretly loves, it'll also recruit fans of Du Maurier & Waters' Patrick Gale

    'I was captivated by the characters, the story and the sinuous, seamless plotting' Sarah Hilary

Beth Underdown lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. Her debut, The Witchfinder's Sister, was an Richard & Judy bestseller. The Key in the Lock is her second book.

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