Hello. I write novels and screenplays and very occasionally, short stories and comic-books.
My latest novel, Palace of Shadows, is out now.
Palace of Shadows is a standalone gothic novel set in the late Victorian period. It was Goldsboro Books’ “Book of the Month”, an “Editor’s Choice” in The Bookseller, and a LoveReading “Star Book” and “Pick of the Month”.
“An absolute triumph.”
“Palace of Shadows moves exhilaratingly into Gothic territory.”
“…the image of a legion of ghosts haunting the moor is brilliant; the decision to show events only from the perspective of peripheral, unreliable characters is meticulously clever; and its jigsaw narrative is told in exquisitely executed 19th-century voices.”
“Beautifully crafted and delightfully creepy.”
“A piercing and wholly captivating historical novel that creates the most sinister and atmospheric of gothic tones…The foreboding descent into [the house’s] depths are chilling, and yet oh-so addictive… Beautifully atmospheric and absolutely convincing.”
“Palace of Shadows is as authentically detailed as Dickens, sophisticatedly horrific as Poe, and is more than enough to give readers the chills on dark autumn nights.”
“Welcome the darker months in with this deeply unsettling gothic tale.”
My previous novel, Sunset Swing, was published in paperback last year. It’s the final instalment in the multi-award-winning ‘City Blues Quartet’.
It won two daggers at this year’s CWA (Crime Writer Association) awards:
- The Golden Dagger for best crime novel of the year
- The Historical Dagger for best historical novel of the year
Maxim Jakubowski, chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “This is a book bursting with heart, soul and spirit, at once all-encompassing and intimate, superbly paced and immaculately constructed. It’s a testimony to this book that Ray has scooped not just one, but two CWA Daggers.”
It’s also had a great response from reviewers:
- The Times ‘Books of the Year’
- The Financial Times ‘Books of the Year’
- Five Star review in The Sunday Telegraph
- The Sunday Times ‘Historical Novel of the Month’
- The Times ‘Thriller of the Month’
Responses to Sunset Swing
“Celestin’s most dizzying accomplishment, a truly epic crime chronicle.”
“Sunset Swing may be an ode to the classics of hard-boiled noir, but it has more than enough rhythm of its own to take its place beside them.”
“Here ends one of the finest achievements in modern crime fiction.”
“A book that brilliantly combines the page-turning tension of the best crime fiction with a panoramic portrait of a city in the midst of profound social change”
“Sunset Swing brings Ray Celestin’s brilliant City Blues Quartet to an end in quite some style… The best book in a quite remarkable series.”
The Mobster’s Lament
The previous novel, ‘The Mobster’s Lament‘ is already out in paperback. It’s the third instalment in the series.
‘The Mobster’s Lament’ was featured as one of the ‘Books of the Year’ by both The Times and The i newspapers, and was also The Times’ Book of the Month. The Daily Express called it a “contender for book of the year” and it was shortlisted for Best Crime Novel of the Year at the Amazon Publishing Capital Crime Festival.
Its backdrop is New York’s nightlife in the late 1940s. A noirish world of rainy nights, neon lights, bebop clubs and wise-guy detectives. You can find out more about it by clicking here.