The Lamplighters

A Novel

by Emma Stonex

On Sale: 03/16/2021

The Lamplighters

Enlarge Book Cover

The Lamplighters

A Novel

by Emma Stonex

On Sale: 03/16/2021


About the Book

Inspired by a haunting true story, a gorgeous and atmospheric novel about the mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse keepers from a remote tower miles from the Cornish coastand about the wives left behind

On New Year’s Eve, 1972, a boat pulls up to the Maiden Rock lighthouse with relief for the keepers. But no one greets the boat. When the entrance door, locked from the inside, is battered down, rescuers find an empty tower. A table is laid for a meal not eaten. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a storm raging round the tower, but the skies have been clear all week. And the clocks have all stopped at 8:45. 

What strange fate befell the doomed men? The heavy sea whispers their names. Black rocks roll beneath the surface, drowning ghosts. And out of the swell like a finger of light, the salt-scratched tower stands lonely and magnificent. 

Two decades later, a writer determined to find out the truth about the men’s disappearance visits the wives who were left behind. Moving between the women’s stories and the men’s last weeks together in the lighthouse, we see long-held secrets surface and truths twist into lies as we try to piece together what happened, why and who to believe.

In her riveting and suspenseful novel, Emma Stonex writes a story about isolation and obsession, reality and illusion, and what it takes to keep the light burning when all else is swallowed by darkness.


Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

"Beautifully written and evocative, this is a mystery, a love story and a ghost story, all at once. It kept me gripped throughout, and I didn’t want it to end. Wonderful." - S. J. Watson, bestselling author of Before I Go to Sleep  

"Emma Stonex has written a gorgeous page-turner that is at once a mystery and a novel about mysteries—about how we all write our own endings and suffer betrayals, but still light the lamps so the people we love can find their way home."   - Charlotte Rogan, author of The Lifeboat

"Outstanding. Literary and insanely gripping." - India Knight, British journalist and author of In Your Prime

"A beautifully written, utterly compelling tale." - Jenny Colgan, Sunday Times bestselling author of Meet Me at the Cupcake Café

"A deeply atmospheric and utterly gripping mystery . . . Superb." - Wyl Menmuir, Man Booker Prize longlisted author of The Many

"The Lamplighters transported me effortlessly to the mysterious Maiden Rock and life on the Cornish coast. Stonex creates a most engaging collection of voices and perspectives that unveil what happened in true pager-turner fashion, a mystery told through vivid prose that had me completely absorbed from start to finish. Haunting, harrowing and heartbreaking, this is a novel that will stay with you." - Ashley Audrain, author of The Push

"The Lamplighters took my breath away. A cracking mystery, perfectly plotted, and oh-so-beautifully written." - Lucy Diamond, author of An Almost Perfect Holiday 

"The Lamplighters is one of the most magical books I’ve ever read. The writing is dazzlingly good. The mystery is uniquely crafted and utterly beguiling. And it’s full of such tenderness and humanity and grace. I loved it with all my heart." - Emylia Hall, author of The Book of Summers

"Compulsive, taut, and unforgettable. The Lamplighters is that rare book which is as exquisitely written as it is page-turning. I'm already telling everyone I know to read it."  - Lucy Clarke, author of The Sea Sisters

"I can't remember when I last enjoyed a book this much. The Lamplighters is a compulsive, bewitching read. The sea and wind get into your bones, the riddle pulling you through the pages like a tide. Deftly written and atmospheric, I didn't want it to end. Brilliant." - Tor Udall, author of A Thousand Paper Birds

"Wise, beautiful and quietly devastating, The Lamplighters gets under the skin in a way that few books do. Weeks on from reading the last page, it still makes my heart ache." - Kate Riordan, author of The Heat Wave

"A remarkable book, through every page, every character, the writing resonates with the dark, powerful presence of the sea." - Raynor Winn, author of The Wild Silence

“I loved The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex – lighthouse keepers, ghosts, warring widows. It’s a wonderfully smart and atmospheric story.”  - Observer

“An intoxicating and beautifully written mystery about love and loss, as moving as it is suspenseful.” -  C.L. Taylor, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Missing

“Full of atmosphere and dread, it’s the perfect way to escape right now.” - Stylist (UK)

Beautiful, absorbing and utterly riveting, The Lamplighters is a hymn to loneliness, to the sea, and to the stories we allow ourselves to believe when we are alone. I treasured every moment of this dazzlingly accomplished and completely unforgettable novel.  - Rosie Walsh, author of The Man Who Didn't Call

“A brilliant page-turner, a compelling mystery laced with the most haunting descriptions of the ocean and life on a remote lighthouse . . . Stonex gradually illuminates each character's story, until the darkest truths are brought into the light and the full spectrum of love, desire, loss and grief is revealed.” - Hannah Richell, author of Secrets of the Tides


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443461818
  • ISBN 10: 1443461814
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 03/16/2021
  • Pages: 352
  • List Price:24.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / General

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