The year is 1816, in Northamptonshire. A red, spiderwebbed haze covers the sun. Temperatures drop, fields flood and freeze, grain rots on the stem. The people are starving, and even the wealthy and titled are affected by shortages. Sickness spreads as a red fungus overtakes fields, seals over windows, and infiltrates cellars. Time itself is misaligned with the outside world—or are the strange happenings hallucinations, caused by the fungus?
On the way back from the Napoleonic Wars in France, Marcus, the younger son of the Earl of Penderbrook, returns to find his brother dead, the estate covered in fungus, and his father sinking into madness.
The last thing Marcus wants to do is be responsible for Penderbook; he wants only to spend the rest of his life playing cards, drinking, and seducing other men’s wives. But even the responsible life of an heir escapes from his grasp, as his brother’s body disappears, his father turns violent, and pale monsters horrify the countryside.
As Marcus pieces together the truth, he discovers a past—and a future—more tainted with evil than he could have suspected.
From the family wine cellar to the folly behind the house—from the pond where he played as a child to the new cotton mill built along the stream—
None of what happens at Penderbrook is innocent.
And the monstrosities that have been committed may still be carried in Marcus’s blood…
A tale of transformation and terror, set in the year Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein.