Paperback / softback
An astonishing, epic story of promise, deceit and desperation in New Zealand's gold rush. 'What brings a fellow down here, you know, to the ends of the earth - what sparks a man?' It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields.
On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.
The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction, both a ghost story and a gripping mystery. Set amidst the promise, deceit and desperation of the mid-19th century goldrush, the lives of its rich, complex cast unspool through a labyrinthine, celestial pattern. Fiendishly clever, vividly rendered and made into a major BBC TV series, The Luminaries established Catton as one of the brightest stars in the firmament.