Sarah Dunnakey - The Companion - Orion Publishing Group

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  • E-Book £P.O.R.
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    • ISBN:9781409168577
    • Publication date:27 Jul 2017
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    • ISBN:9781409168638
    • Publication date:27 Jul 2017

The Companion

By Sarah Dunnakey

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

A beautiful and powerfully-told story of buried secrets, set between the 1930s and the present day, on the wild Yorkshire Moors. The perfect book club read for fans of Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale.

How do you solve a mystery when the clues are hidden in the past?

'Utterly charming, wonderfully creepy and rich with mystery. The Companion is a rare treat.' C.L. Taylor

The Companion is a beautiful and powerfully-told story of buried secrets, set between the 1930s and the present day, on the wild Yorkshire moors.

Billy Shaw lives in a palace. Potter's Pleasure Palace, the best entertainment venue in Yorkshire, complete with dancing, swing-boats and a roller-skating rink.

When it is arranged for him to become companion to the child at the big house above the valley, Billy leaves home to find a wild, peculiar boy in a curiously haphazard household where nothing that's meant is said and the air is thick with secrets.

Before long, tragedy strikes and fictions become tangled up in facts, yet it's left to Anna Sallis, almost a century later, to unravel the knots and find the truth.

'An absorbing mystery story, really evocative of the Yorkshire Moors and the mill. I loved the character of Billy Shaw! The story kept me engrossed and flipping the pages right to the end' Katherine Webb, bestselling author of The Legacy

'The Companion is beautifully written and so evocative of time and place...If you thought the Brontes were the most intriguing literary family in Yorkshire, wait until you meet the Harpers.' Linda Green, author of the No.1 bestseller, While My Eyes Were Closed

'Sarah writes with warmth, wit and wisdom AND she makes you want to turn the page. A rare combination.' John Humphrys

'Buried secrets, intrigue and betrayal are the hallmarks of this compelling tale.' My Weekly

Biographical Notes

When she's not writing fiction, Sarah writes and verifies questions and answers for a variety of TV quiz shows including Mastermind, University Challenge and Pointless. She has an honours degree in History and has previously worked as a librarian, an education officer in a Victorian cemetery and an oral history interviewer.

Sarah has won or been shortlisted in several short story competitions and her work has been published in anthologies and broadcast on Radio 4. In 2014 she won a Northern Writer's Award, from New Writing North after submitting part of The Companion. She lives with her husband and daughter in West Yorkshire on the edge of the Pennine Moors. Follow her on Twitter @SarahDeeWrites

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781409168560
  • Publication date: 02 Nov 2017
  • Page count: 336
  • Imprint: Orion

An absorbing mystery story, really evocative of the Yorkshire Moors and the mill. I loved the character of Billy Shaw! The story kept me engrossed and flipping the pages right to the end

— Katherine Webb, bestselling author of The Legacy
The Companion is beautifully written and so evocative of time and place, you can almost hear the roar of the roller skates at Potter's Pleasure Palace as you turn the page. Billy Shaw leaps off the moors into our hearts while Jasper Harper lurks ominously at his shoulder throughout this haunting debut. The strange goings on at High Hob are vividly brought to life by Dunnakey's wonderfully crafted novel. If you thought the Brontes were the most intriguing literary family in Yorkshire, wait until you meet the Harpers. — Linda Green, author of the No.1 bestseller, While My Eyes Were Closed
Sarah writes with warmth, wit and wisdom AND she makes you want to turn the page. A rare combination. — John Humphrys
An engaging and totally compelling mystery — Yorkshire Post
Utterly absorbing...a great Yorkshire tale — Stephen May
A compelling tale — My Weekly
Utterly charming, wonderfully creepy and rich with mystery. The Companion is a rare treat. — CL Taylor, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Escape

A.J. Cross

A.J. Cross is a Forensic Psychologist and frequent court-appointed expert witness. She obtained her Masters Degree and PhD at the University of Birmingham, the latter relating to children as witnesses within the criminal court system. Her professional experience has included consultancy work for the Probation Service within its sexual offender unit in her home city. She currently lives in Birmingham with her jazz-musician husband.

Antoine Rouaud

Antoine Rouaud is a major new player in the fantasy genre. Already a bestseller in France, he is published in fifteen languages around the world and has been shortlisted for two major prizes in the UK. He is one of only three French fantasy novelists to be published in translation.You can learn more by following @Antoine_Rouaud on twitter.

Arturo Perez-Reverte

Arturo Perez Reverte lives near Madrid. Originally a war correspondent, he now writes fiction full time. His novels include THE FLANDERS PANEL, THE CLUB DUMAS, THE FENCING MASTER, THE SEVILLE COMMUNION, THE NAUTICAL CHART, THE QUEEN OF THE SOUTH and the bestselling CAPTAIN ALATRISTE series. In 2003 he was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy. His website can be visited at

Bill James

Bill James (1929-) is the author of numerous thrillers and crime novels as well as a critical work on Anthony Powell. In 2006 he was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association's prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger award for the year's best crime novel for Wolves of Memory. His work is much loved and critically acclaimed; the Sunday Telegraph describes him as 'bruisingly good' and The Times as 'subtle and riveting to the last page'. He lives in his native South Wales.

Bryan Appleyard

Born in 1951, Bryan Appleyard attended King's College, Cambridge. He writes for numerous publications including VANITY FAIR, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE SPECTATOR and THE SUNDAY TIMES.

C.C. Humphreys

C.C. Humphreys was born in Toronto and grew up in Los Angeles and London. A third generation actor and writer on both sides of his family, he is married and lives on Salt Spring Island, Canada.

Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) was born in Maryland and worked in a number of menial jobs until he became an operative for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. His experiences as a private detective laid the foundations for his writing career. His work includes Red Harvest, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, The Thin Man and some eighty short stories, mostly published in Black Mask magazine.

Deborah Lawrenson

Deborah Lawrenson spent her childhood moving around the world with diplomatic service parents, from Kuwait to China, Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore. She graduated from Cambridge University and worked as a journalist in London. She is the author of five previous novels, including The Art of Falling, chosen for the prestigious WHSmith Fresh Talent promotion, and Songs of Blue and Gold, inspired by the life of writer-traveller Lawrence Durrell. Deborah is married with a daughter, and lives in Kent. The family spends as much time as possible at a crumbling hamlet in Provence, France, which is the atmospheric setting for The Lantern.Find out more at

Deborah Valentine

Deborah Valentine is a British author, editor and screenwriter who once lived in California but far preferred the British weather and fled to London, where she has lived for many years. Her crime novels feature former California sheriff Kevin Bryce and his artist girlfriend, Katharine Craig, charting their turbulent romance amidst murder and mayhem, and pushing the boundaries of the conventional mystery with their complex yet engaging characterisations. Unorthodox Methods is the first in the series, followed by A Collector of Photographs, and the Ireland-based Fine Distinctions. A Collector of Photographs was shortlisted for several awards, including an Edgar and a Macavity. Fine Distinctions was also shortlisted for an Edgar. In addition to the Kevin Bryce series Deborah Valentine has been the editor of a number of niche-market journals and is a prolific writer of articles, screenplays and a new series of novels with a supernatural theme.

Diane Setterfield

Born in Berkshire, Diane Setterfield was educated at Theale Green Comprehensive School and Bristol University. Her degree in French literature led her to teach in universities in England and France, where she lived for several years. Diane's previous publications have been in the field of 19th and 20th century French literature, specialising in the writings of André Gide. After returning to the UK, Diane ran a business teaching French to those intending to live in France. She lives in London.

Donald MacKenzie

Donald MacKenzie (1908-1994) was born in Ontario, Canada, and educated in England, Canada and Switzerland. For twenty-five years MacKenzie lived by crime in many countries. 'I went to jail,' he wrote, 'if not with depressing regularity, too often for my liking.' His last sentences were five years in the United States and three years in England, running consecutively. He began writing and selling stories when in American jail. 'I try to do exactly as I like as often as possible and I don't think I'm either psychopathic, a wayward boy, a problem of our time, a charming rogue. Or ever was.'He had a wife, Estrela, and a daughter, and they divided their time between England, Portugal, Spain and Austria.

Donald Thomas

Donald Thomas (1926-) was born in Somerset and educated at Queen's College, Taunton, and Balliol College, Oxford. He holds a personal chair in the University of Wales, Cardiff, now Cardiff University. His numerous crime novels include two collections of Sherlock Holmes stories and a hugely successful historical detective series written under the pen name Francis Selwyn and featuring Sergeant Verity of Scotland Yard, as well as gritty police procedurals written under the name of Richard Dacre. He is also the author of seven biographies and a number of other non-fiction works, and won the Gregory Prize for his poems, Points of Contact. He lives in Bath with his wife.

Douglas Preston

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are the NY Times bestselling co-authors of a string of bestselling action adventure and thriller novels, including the Agent Pendergast and Gideon Crew adventures. Douglas Preston lives on the coast of Maine, while Lincoln Child lives in New Jersey.

Ed McBain

Ed McBain (1926-2005) was born Salvatore Lombino in New York. He changed his name to Evan Hunter and under that name is known as the author of The Blackboard Jungle and as the writer of the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. The 87th Precinct series numbers over fifty novels. McBain was a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and was one of three American writers to be awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement.

Essie Fox

Essie Fox divides her time between Windsor and Bow in the East End of London. Her debut novel, The Somnambulist, was selected for the Channel 4 Book Club and was shortlisted in the New Writer of the Year category of the 2012 National Book Awards. She is the author of The Virtual Victorian:

Geoffrey Household

Geoffrey Household (1900-1988)Geoffrey Household was a prolific novelist of political thrillers and suspense stories, most notably the classic Rogue Male, which, The Times recently declared, 'remains as exciting and probing as ever'. He was as widely travelled as the settings of his books suggest: after graduating from Magdalen College, Oxford, with a first in English literature he worked abroad for 25 years, and served in British Intelligence during World War II in Greece and the Middle East. He married twice and eventually settled in the English countryside with his wife and three children.

Helen McCloy

Helen Worrell Clarkson McCloy (1904-1994)Born in New York City, Helen McCloy was educated in Brooklyn, at the Quaker Friends' school, and later studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. From 1927-1932 she worked for Hearst's Universal News Service after which she freelanced as an art critic and contributor to various publications, including theLondon Morning Post. Shortly after her return to the US she published her first novel, Dance of Death, in 1933, featuring her popular series detective-psychologist Basil Willing. The novel Through a Glass Darkly, a puzzle in the supernatural tradition of John Dickson Carr, is the eighth in the Basil Willing series and is generally acknowledged to be her masterpiece. In 1946 McCloy married fellow author Davis Dresser, famed for his Mike Shayne novels. Together they founded Halliday & McCloy literary agency as well as the Torquil Publishing Company. The couple had one daughter, Chloe, and their marriage ended in 1961. In 1950 Helen McCloy became the first woman president of the Mystery Writers of America and in 1953 she was awarded an Edgar by the same organisation for her criticism. In 1987, critic and mystery writer H. R. F. Keating included her Basil Willing title Mr Splitfoot in a list of the 100 best crime and mystery books ever published.

J. J. Connington

Alfred Walter Stewart (1880-1947), who wrote under the pen name J. J. Connington, was born in Glasgow, the youngest of three sons of Reverend Dr Stewart. He graduated from Glasgow University and pursued an academic career as a chemistry professor, working for the Admiralty during the First World War. Known for his ingenious and carefully worked-out puzzles and in-depth character development, he was admired by a host of his better-known contemporaries, including Dorothy L. Sayers and John Dickson Carr, who both paid tribute to his influence on their work. He married Jessie Lily Courts in 1916 and they had one daughter.

James Hadley Chase

Born René Brabazon Raymond in London, the son of a British colonel in the Indian Army, James Hadley Chase (1906-1985) was educated at King's School in Rochester, Kent, and left home at the age of 18. He initially worked in book sales until, inspired by the rise of gangster culture during the Depression and by reading James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, he wrote his first novel, No Orchids for Miss Blandish. Despite the American setting of many of his novels, Chase (like Peter Cheyney, another hugely successful British noir writer) never lived there, writing with the aid of maps and a slang dictionary. He had phenomenal success with the novel, which continued unabated throughout his entire career, spanning 45 years and nearly 90 novels. His work was published in dozens of languages and over thirty titles were adapted for film. He served in the RAF during World War II, where he also edited the RAF Journal. In 1956 he moved to France with his wife and son; they later moved to Switzerland, where Chase lived until his death in 1985.

Joan Fleming

Joan Fleming (1908-1980) was one of the most original and literate crime writers of her generation. Born in Lancashire and educated at Lausanne University she became the wife of a Harley Street eye surgeon and mother of four, and was already a successful children's author before she turned to crime. She is the author of over thirty novels and won the CWA Gold Dagger in 1962 for When I Grow Rich and again in 1970 for Young Man, I Think You're Dying. The Deeds of Dr Deadcert was made into the 1958 film Rx for Murder.