From S. L. Edwards comes debut novel In the Devil's Cradle, a captivating haunted house story where the house is an entire country, a nation coming apart due to influences both internal and external, both natural and supernatural. Look for In the Devil's Cradle at better independent booksellers everywhere, and most online retailers. Copies with signed bookplates are available direct from Word Horde.
Senator William Esquival is in a rush to save his family’s life. Fleeing political persecution, William takes his family from the capital and flees to the family stronghold of Rio Rojo, a town known as the birthplace of William’s ancestor, a powerful former dictator whose legacy haunts the nation of Antioch. But even as the Esquival family seeks refuge, the country continues to fray around them. As Antioch bleeds, ancient hatreds, secrets, and ghosts pour from its wounds.
From S. L. Edwards comes debut novel In the Devil’s Cradle, a captivating haunted house story where the house is an entire country, a nation coming apart due to influences both internal and external, both natural and supernatural.
Cover Art and Design: Yves Tourigny
Pub Date: November 8, 2022
Format: Trade Paperback
“In the Devil’s Cradle is rich, sweepingly grand in the manner of the best historical fiction, and haunting in its detail of lives caught up in the machinery of political change. A fine, assured debut by Edwards that has me looking forward to more.” —Laird Barron, author of Swift to Chase
“In the Devil’s Cradle has a family at its core, but it’s not so much a question of them being haunted by something from their past as them being pursued by the dark spirit of a nation that has an affinity for their souls. A deft look at the political dimensions of the supernatural, and the investments of different factions to keep something alive that may well be better off dead.” —Brian Evenson, author of Song for the Unraveling of the World
“In the Devil’s Cradle is the political gothic horror I didn’t know I needed in my life, and I’m here for it. This book oozes dread and suspense, with a central mystery reminiscent of Machen’s work. An enthralling debut.” —Todd Keisling, author of Devil’s Creek
“Edwards combines an intelligent literary sensibility with a deep appreciation for the supernatural and its purpose in our lives. He creates fascinating stories that consider both the vulnerability and the possibilities contained in the human condition. If you want speculative fiction with great heart, distinctive prose, and a strong sense of history, you will find it here.” —S.P . Miskowski, author of I Wish I Was Like You
“With In the Devil’s Cradle S. L. Edwards has written a masterpiece, a gothic tale equal parts Marquez and Poe, of a haunted house writ large, where the house is a nation, and the ghosts are the legends and lies and secrets that haunt its citizenry, sometimes with tenderness, and sometimes with brutality, and where the phantasmagorical wander the streets and forests imprisoned in chains of dread memories and forgotten sacrifices.” —Peter Rawlik, author of The Weird Company
“…The real horror of this novel is that Antioch could be any country, and the terrors both real and supernatural could easily be set loose upon us all. A chilling story that holds appeal for a wide audience, but especially for fans of The Hacienda, by Isabel Cañas (2022), Frankenstein in Baghdad, by Ahmed Saadawi (2018), and Wonderland, by Zoje Stage (2020).” —Becky Spratford, Booklist
“The bones of this story are unearthed from several horror traditions. Edwards often uses classic tropes to tell his stories, which in my mind, gives credence to the idea of horror, the genre, as a language beyond anything else. There are many ways to tell the story of a nation in crisis, but Edwards uses the vocabulary of ghost stories, folk horror, and gothic fiction to craft something sinister and acutely recognizable.” —Carson Winter, author of Bloodlines: Four Tales of Familial Fear