BRAM STOKER AWARD-WINNER for BEST FIRST NOVEL
Introduction by NY Times best selling author Heather Graham
The philosophies of the Age of Enlightenment create sweeping changes throughout 19th Century Europe, but to Hungary’s despised nomads, the gypsies, the world is still a dark and very dangerous landscape. Adversaries both mortal and supernatural lurk in the shadows, waiting to strike without mercy. Imre, a half-gypsy horse trader, understands the danger to his small family all too well.
Cursed with a hideously-disfiguring and fatal disease by the vengeful sorceress Anyeta, he watches those around him suffer and fall. Mimi, his wife, who is tricked into cutting off her own arm to create a powerful talisman. His friend Constantin, struck mute by Anyeta’s wrath. And Lenore, his and Mimi’s young daughter, who has been placed in the greatest jeopardy of all. With his health deteriorating and death imminent, his wife possessed by the witch’s ghost and Lenore being groomed for a fate far worse than death, Imre turns to desperate measures and a hellish memory from his childhood—to still the sorceress and end her reign of bloodshed. A presence even more powerful and terrifying to him than Anyeta: the gentling box.
“A keenly conceived and richly executed cornucopia of the blackest magic. Mannetti’s prowess as a writer hauls the reader into a shimmering, phantasmagoric demesne of relentless suspense and high-creep-factor chills, and doesn’t let go until the final page. This story is a dark work of art.”
–Edward Lee, author of City Infernal and Brides of the Impaler
“When was the last time you lost yourself in a book? Lisa Mannetti dares you to enter a realm unlike anything you’ve dreamed of, a world of gallant gypsies and ancient evil, of passionate obsessions … and abject terror. Take that dare. Immerse yourself. The rewards are plentiful. But be warned. Nothing could prepare you for the horror of THE GENTLING BOX.”
–Robert Dunbar, author of The Pines and The Shore
“Mannetti’s prose has teeth; sharp teeth that grab on and refuse to let go.”
–J.A. Konrath, author of Fuzzy Navel and Dirty Martini