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In 1852 Richard Francis Burton, the legendary explorer and author, fell in love with a Persian woman while in the British Army. When her parents discovered the affair, they poisoned her. Devastated and vulnerable, Burton camped out in an opium den. But the British spymaster, Hodgson, needed Burton and his unique talents for a mission: pose as a Muslim on the Hajj, and when it’s over, steal a woman from a harem in Medina. Burton knew myriad languages. He could duel and shoot and ride. And most of all he needed Hodgson because Burton had an unquenchable thirst for risk-taking. Hallucinatory twists followed and Burton’s life turned into a tale of adventure and romance worthy of the Arabian Nights. “The Mirrored Palace” is a spy story – romantic and swashbuckling, harrowing and tragic – based on Burton's life, and utilizing his own published account of his Hajj. At the same time, it is a literary adventure, a narrative puzzle cleverly shuffled by Hodgson, haunted by his betrayal of Burton. Whose version, Burton's or Hodgson's, is closer to the truth?
"A spy story and a labyrinth literary mystery, this novel about the famed explorer and author Richard Francis Burton has it all: betrayal, ambition, regret and love. Read it for the adventure or read it just to get your heart ripped out. It's great." - Lucian K. Truscott IV, NYT Bestselling author of “Dress Gray.”
Publishing date: December 16, 2020
Paperback: 298 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
David Rich is the author of two previous novels, “Caravan of Thieves” and “Middle Man.” Much of his writing life has been spent in the film and television business in the U.S. and Europe. He lives in Connecticut where he teaches in a graduate writing program.