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Taryn Cornick believes that the past is behind her - her sister's death by violence, and her own ill-conceived revenge. She has chosen to live a life more professional than personal. She has written a book about the things that threaten libraries - insects, damp, light, fire, carelessness and uncaring. The book is a success, but not all of the attention it brings her is good.
There are questions about a fire in the library at Princes Gate, her grandparents' house, and about an ancient scroll box known as the Firestarter. A policeman, Jacob Berger, has questions about a cold case. There are threatening phone calls. And a shadowy young man named Shift appears, bringing his shadows with him. Taryn, Jacob, Shift - three people are driven towards a reckoning felt in more than one world.
The Absolute Book is an epic fantasy, intimate in tone. A book where hidden treasures are recovered; where wicked things people think they've shaken from their trails find their scent again. A book about beautiful societies founded on theft and treachery, and one in which dead sisters are a living force. It is a book of journeys and returns, set in London, Norfolk, and the Wye Valley; in Auckland, New Zealand; in the Island of Apples and Summer Road of the Sidhe; at Hell's Gate; in the Tacit with its tombs; and in the hospitals and train stations of Purgatory.