The Bedlam Stacks
Merrick Tremayne is an expeditionary botanist. In 1859, the year of a spectacular solar storm, he is sent to collect specimens of the quinine-yielding cinchona tree, which is to be found only in the Peruvian mountains. Two previous expeditions have disappeared there. When he arrives at the tiny... show more
Merrick Tremayne is an expeditionary botanist. In 1859, the year of a spectacular solar storm, he is sent to collect specimens of the quinine-yielding cinchona tree, which is to be found only in the Peruvian mountains. Two previous expeditions have disappeared there.
When he arrives at the tiny mission of New Bethlehem, he finds a glass beach and a town built entirely on rock stacks. The townspeople are all crippled, and it seems that their lives are devoted to the ritual production of salt. Superstition abounds; venturing into the forest is forbidden, the strange statues that litter the town must be worshipped, and nobody will discuss the fate of the last expeditionaries. But while Merrick waits for his equipment to arrive by sea, a child goes missing, and along with the missionary, Raphael, he is pulled into a search that takes them deep into the rainforest. Soon, Merrick's scientific mind is at a loss. He cannot tell what makes the wood of the forest trees explosive, or how the statues seem to move - or why Raphael is turning slowly to stone.
Publish date: 2017-08-01
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Pages no: 336
Edition language: English
Set in the same universe as The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, this book is not a sequel although one of the main characters from the previous books makes a couple of quite lengthy appearances - while that book was set in London, The Bedlam Stacks takes place mostly in Peru, as our protagonist is pa...
Reminiscent of a H Rider Haggard or H G Wells novel, his book deals with a pair of English explorers in Peru to bring cinchona bark to India to make quinine and prevent a malaria epidemic. They travel to "Bedlam" of the title and meet a variety of local characters as well as encountering "magical" p...