THE NEW SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER FROM THE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE ESSEX SERPENT'Perry's masterly piece of postmodern gothic is one of the great achievements of our century and deserves all the prizes and praise that will be heaped upon it' Observer'A beautiful, devastating, brilliant book' Marian Keyes'Astonishingly dark, rich storytelling, exquisitely balanced between gothic shocks and emotional truth' Francis Spufford'Mythic, ominous and sensitively human, Melmoth is haunting in all the best ways' Frances HardingeTwenty years ago Helen Franklin did something she cannot forgive herself for, and she has spent every day since barricading herself against its memory. But her sheltered life is about to change. A strange manuscript has come into her possession. It is filled with testimonies from the darkest chapters of human history, which all record sightings of a tall, silent woman in black, with unblinking eyes and bleeding feet: Melmoth, the loneliest being in the world. Condemned to walk the Earth forever, she tries to beguile the guilty and lure them away for a lifetime wandering alongside her. Everyone that Melmoth seeks out must make a choice: to live with what they've done, or be led into the darkness. Helen can't stop reading, or shake the feeling that someone is watching her. As her past finally catches up with her, she too must choose which path to take.Exquisitely written, and gripping until the very last page, this is a masterpiece of moral complexity, asking us profound questions about mercy, redemption, and how to make the best of our conflicted world.