The Skallies, a row of tumbledown houses built on the windlashed coast, was a wild and curious place. A place for people down on their luck. A place where people went to hide. Ten-year-old Archie Grimble, with his crippled leg and one good eye, lived a miserable existence there until a chance encounter with an unhappy little girl and the discovery of a secret diary set him on a mission to unravel the mystery of a boy who drowned off Skilly Point in August, 1900. But Archie's investigation was to have unexpected consequences. A shocking murder and an unexplained abduction were to shatter his exciting new world forever. Only many years later, on his return to the ruined Skallies, does Archie stumble on the final pieces of a puzzle that has haunted him since childhood - and the extraordinary truth about the death of Thomas Greswode is at last revealed.
Babs Horton was born in Tredegar, South Wales courtesy of the Pope and the Catholic missionaries who,in the previous year were berating young women about the evils of birth control. She moved to London where she lived in many lively pubs and and attended seven different schools, miraculously gaining enough of an education to gain a degree and become a teacher. She has taught in secondary schools, psychiatric units and worked for the Royal Literary Fund as a Writing Fellow at the University of Plymouth.
Her debut novel A Jarful of Angels won the Pendleton May first novel award and was shortlisted for the Authors' Club of Great Britain prize. Since then she has published four more novels; Dandelion Soup, Wildcat Moon and Recipes for Cherubs. She is currently working on a memoir, The Coronation Kid and a novel called the Emporium of Dreams.