The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex
Published in paperback by Picador, 2022
This was a birthday gift from friends* who obviously know my reading tastes really well!
One of the reviews quoted in the blurb says “I didn’t want it to end”, but I did because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened.
Set in Cornwall in 1972 and in the decades which followed, this is the story of three men who vanish from a lighthouse built on rock three miles from shore.
Most of us have read “locked room mysteries”; here we have not just a locked room but also clocks which stopped simultaneously, a table set for two, no signs of violence and no bodies. Suspicion falls on one of the three, but nothing can explain where the men or their bodies are and how they got off the rock.
Twenty years after the event, a writer contacts the partners of the three men to find out what they think might have happened. Is there a supernatural explanation? Was someone else involved? Each has their own theory and their own burden, but what of the author?
Emma Stonex really communicates the claustrophobic nature of the men’s lives in a dark and intriguing story inspired by a real life disappearance in 1900.
A good read that draws in the reader right from the start.
* thank you S&K