Stephen Killigan has been cold since the day he came to Cambridge as a junior lecturer. Something about the seven hundred years of history staining the stones of the university has given him a chill he can't shake. When he stumbles across the body of a missing beauty queen, he thinks he's found the reason. But when the police go to retrieve the body and find no trace, Killigan has found a problem - and a killer - that is the very opposite of reason.
Killigan's unwitting entry into Jackamore Grass's sinister world will lead him on a trail of tattooists, philosophers, cadavers and scholars of a deadly beauty. As Killigan traces a path between our age and seventeenth century Cambridge, he must work out how a corpse can be found before someone goes missing, and whether he's at the edge of madness or an astonishing discovery.
The Beauty of Murder is a speculative crime thriller that travels to the heart of a gruesome series of crimes by way of a city and a person that have secrets written in blood.
What They Said
‘Written in sinuous, elegant prose with characters that linger in the mind...one of the more interesting debuts this year.’ Daily Mail
‘Virtually from the first page this elegant, quirky mystery had me hooked... A K Benedict is definitely an author I shall be looking out for in the future.’ goodreads.com
‘I found myself enjoying the book so much that I rationed my daily reading to make it last longer... So, suspend your disbelief, abandon all notions of established genre, and think of the literary lovechild you might get following some magical mixology involving Scarlett Thomas, Hilary Mantel, Umberto Eco and Iris Murdoch.’ Hastings Times
‘A compelling, genre-bending crime debut packed full of atmospheric detail...If you are looking for something a little different in the crime genre, look no further...’ lovereading.co.uk
‘I’ll say one thing for Stephen Killigan, the hero of this book – he’s like no one else I’ve ever encountered in the pages of a novel.’ Crime Fiction Lover
‘A striking speculative thriller that is provocative, enriching and substantially multi-layered.’ Lucinda Fountain, New Books Magazine
‘A fast-paced page-turner, this is a speculative crime thriller that travels to the heart of a series of gruesome crimes by way of a city and person that have far too many secrets written in blood.’ Cornflower Books
‘There is much to admire and intrigue in this debut novel. It crosses over several genres to offer us a speculative thriller, complete with murder-mystery, police investigation, philosophy, the aesthetics of murder, time-travel and magic. It's inventive, haunting and compelling.’ The Little Reader Library
UK/Commonwealth ex Canada - Orion (March 2013)
German - Droemer
Italian - Elliot Edizione
Film/TV Option - Company Pictures
All Other Media Rights – Rupert Heath Literary Agency