At the turn of the century Theophile and Suzanne Valence sail into the Mexican copper-mining town of Santa Sofia. Theo has travelled here to build a metal church designed by his mentor, the great engineer Gustave Eiffel. His wife Suzanne, wayward and graced with the gift of clairvoyance is deeply in love and has insisted on accompanying him. But the magical landscape inspires no answering passion in Theo. In her loneliness she turns to the American gold prospector Wilson Pharaoh, and soon he, like the town and its inhabitants, falls under her spell, an enchantment as seductive as Suzanne herself.
RUPERT THOMSON is the author of eight highly acclaimed novels, of which Air and Fire and The Insult were shortlisted for the Writer's Guild Fiction Prize and the Guardian Fiction Prize respectively. His most recent novel, Death of a Murderer, was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Novel Award. His memoir This Party's Got to Stop was published in 2009.