Emma Stonex

The Lamplighters

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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 coast—and 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.

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