Recent Books by Patrice Chaplin
In this gripping true-life memoir, Patrice Chaplin returns to the ancient city of secrets, Girona – its magnetism and enchantment never to be forgotten. It was in Girona that she first encountered the hidden Society, preserved since antiquity, that influenced such illustrious figures as Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, Otto Rahn and Howard Hughes – and even the cryptical priest of Rennes-le-Château, Bérenger Saunière. What mystery is protected by this esoteric society?
In the spirit of her books The City of Secrets and The Portal, Patrice continues her search to solve the enigmas of Girona. When the Society appears to offer her its secret – on the basis that she becomes its custodian and remains in Catalonia – she is faced with a decision that will change her life forever. Sensing danger, she must anticipate the intentions of those around her. Knowledge is not only power, but also the best way to survive. Drawn into a series of adventures, she is taken to holy sites, isolated castles and ancient graves said to be linked to religious figures from the distant past. Finally, Patrice is led to a secret chapel in an isolated place: the domain of the Stone Cradle. Once touched, she is told, one would always return, even in dreams. This is a place of multidimensional reality, but also of peril – a portal to the unknown. What is its purpose? In The Stone Cradle, the culmination of her work, Patrice Chaplin discovers the secret of Girona and glimpses the truth beyond everyday reality.
Happy Hour is the moving and witty account of an English woman who realizes her dream of leaving her life, her secrets, and her private grief behind her to buy into a piece of paradise — Castel, a small town in the Pyrénées, where the quality of light, the magnificence of the scenery and the vibrancy of the Catalan culture have tempted artists and tourists for decades.
It is a place of mystery — of darkened doorways defying brilliant sunshine — which entraps every visitor.
Yet the Catalan people are notoriously cautious of outsiders — and there are some mysteries that they do not want to be solved, including the myth surrounding Rennes-le-Château, the place where the Holy Grail was said to be found by a priest.
This splendid evocation of life on the borders of France and Spain has at its centre the rich and lively characters whose energy adds to the joie de vivre of their setting.
We meet the big-hearted patron, M. Nadal, who protects the old Catalan customs and keeps the town’s secrets, the rivalrous chefs at the gourmet restaurant whose owners would rather die than lose their Michelin star, the disarmingly alluring Colette, who runs the Café des Arcades, escaping a turbulent past in Pigalle’s backstreets.
The town pulses with dramas, rumours, rivalry, fiestas, concerts, dances and feasts while the old men in black berets sit drinking under the cool plane trees, playing pelote.
Elle is not yet thirty and she is already bored with her life…
Drawn in by Elle’s mysterious charms and effortless grace, Catherine feels herself slipping into a whirlwind romance.
But as the cracks in Elle’s façade appear, Catherine grows anxious and disturbed.
When things start to go downhill and the glamourous life they’ve built together seems more and more like an illusion, Catherine begins to doubt her own reality.
Who is Elle?
Where does her money come from?
What is she saying when she’s on the phone for hours speaking languages Catherine doesn’t understand?
As Elle is revealed to be less and less what she seems, Catherine becomes fixated on the strange hollowness that has appeared in Elle’s eyes.
Perhaps Elle is not a charming socialite after all, but something far more sinister.
Half love story, half thriller, Death Trap is the gripping tale of Catherine and the mysterious Elle.
‘Powerful romantic fiction in the tradition of Emily Bronte.’ – The Guardian
Vicky Graham, an unsuccessful film producer at the BBC, crosses the path of Luciano Raffi, a famous violinist, as he performs at the Proms.
For Vicky he represented something she could not have, but something she longingly craved for. A chance to lift her out of the unloving greyness of everyday life.
Through her job at the BBC, she is able to organise an interview with him, but their meeting triggers a renewed obsession with him.
The reason? Luciano has something in common with Vicky – they both know about the portal.
A secret history, nearly untraced, connects these distant souls.
But will it last?
Raffi is about to disappear from her life…
To get him back, she must travel to where and when she had never expected.
She must uncover the secret history of the portal…
‘ … a surging intensity that keeps the reader glued to the page.’ – New York Times
In a theatre in Las Vegas, the stage is all set for music hall star Sylvia Chrystal’s sell-out show.
All she needs to do is turn up for the rehearsal.
But Sylvia isn’t in Vegas. She wakes up, bloody and dishevelled, in Barcelona. And she has no idea how she got there.
As her agents in America frantically try to find their missing star, Sylvia has a task of her own. She needs to try to work out why on earth she has just woken up in a pool of her own blood beside an airport runway in the blazing heat.
As she gradually begins to try to piece together the events that led her to there, a series of strange flashbacks pierce her brain and one person emerges in full force: her long-time lover, Celestino.
But Celestino has now married someone else, and Sylvia faces a choice: is she in Spain to try and win him back, or will she try to leave the past behind and face what promises to be a bright future in the United States?
As Sylvia falls in with a group of upper-class English drinking their way round Barcelona, one thing becomes increasingly clear: in just the dirty clothes she woke up in and no money to her name, she is going to need a lot of help whichever choice she makes.
But then Sylvia’s life starts to turn even blacker and spiral out of control, and things become even less clear than they were at the start.
With its strange, dreamlike narrative, Siesta is a black, sexy thriller from a mistress of the genre.
By Flower and Dean Street
London, the 1970’s. Jack’s back.
The Ripper, most brutal and secret of murderers, makes a ghostly reappearance in present-day London when two people find themselves mysteriously possessed.
Connie has the perfect life. Complete with a successful and loving husband and four children.
That soon changes with a birthday celebration, featuring a magician, at a local nightclub.
A black cloud descends upon her life, which everyone else is oblivious to.
Strange hallucinations, voices and disturbing shadows start to claim her mind.
All of which are indicative of the notorious Ripper murders.
Trying to convince her family and friends that she isn’t crazy is challenging. Especially as her behaviour becomes more erratic and she is hospitalised.
Can Connie discover the source of the hallucinations? Will she ever understand their significance?
Or will she be forever taunted by the voices in her head?
By Flower and Dean Street is a chilling horror story that keeps you gripped until the unpredictable conclusion.
Patrice Chaplin’s awareness of the terrifying undertow of human life makes this novel a compelling and uncommonly chilling read.
‘Genuinely witty horrors’ – The Observer
Into the Darkness Laughing: The Story of Jeanne Hébuterne, Modigliani’s Last Mistress
“On 22nd September 1987 I was sitting in the local hospital waiting room. The room was very hot and as I waited, I turned the pages of an old magazine. I noticed a small reproduction of a Modigliani painting, and underneath it a short description of the painter and his last mistress, Jeanne Hebuterne. The scrap of story made me turn icy cold because I felt that it was already known to me.”
Thus began Patrice Chaplin’s extraordinary journey into the lives of these doomed lovers: a journey that was finally to unlock the secrets of their past.
During the years of the First World War, somewhere on the terraces of the cafés of Montparnasse, Jeanne Hebuterne met the Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani. She was a pretty young artist with a talent recognised by Foujita and Severini; he was in his thirties, unstable, penniless, unrecognised. Yet as Cocteau said of him, ‘he had glory’. Incapable of forming lasting attachments, he seemed always to be appearing, then disappearing into the darkness laughing.
From July 1917 Jeanne lived with him in a top-floor Montparnasse studio. She posed for him continually as he, increasingly embittered, found escape in drink. One week in the freezing January of 1920 Jeanne, expecting their second child, remained alone with Modigliani as he lay dying of tubercular meningitis. Too late, they were found, and Modigliani died in a charity hospital.
At the mortuary Jeanne gazed at the face of her lover in death until her father took her away. That night, nine months pregnant, she fell to her death from a fifth-floor window. Jeanne was only twenty-one years old. She had said ‘I know he is dead, but soon he will be living for me’.
For years speculation has surrounded the story of Jeanne Hebuterne. Then Patrice Chaplin embarked on an extraordinary journey that was to take her to Paris and to Haut-de-Cagnes, that was to be full of coincidence and chance meetings which would begin to unlock the past.
She found letters, photographs and drawings never previously seen. Jeanne’s friends and their children at last chose to break their silence.
Written with passion, humour and empathy, this personal and moving account at last casts full light on the much-mythologised life and tragic death of Jeanne Hebuterne.
The Fortune Seller
Jesse, a two hit performer, suddenly drops from the international spotlight and it takes a while to realize she is out of fashion – and in serious debt. She is obliged to take work as a telephone night psychic which gives anonymity and quick money while she tries to rebuild her career.
Having little idea of fortune telling she has to be inventive and quick witted, like many other fake psychics. She’s taken on as a try-out because the company likes her voice. A hit-and-miss reading for an enigmatic caller draws Jesse into an obsessional love – from beyond the grave. No clairvoyant could have predicted the danger that follows.
Patrice Chaplin, author of 36 books and plays, including The Siesta and City of Secrets, introduces this unique supernatural thriller – based on a true story.
The Fortune Seller takes us into the unexplored world of the psychic industry, a booming business fuelled by thousands desperately seeking love, success, revenge, and glimpses into the future. It reveals the psychic’s skills and tricks, the good news pedlars, and those whose skills are genuine and able to attune with a stranger, receiving messages from afar.
Follow Jesse into this night-time world where truth is as hard to find as the spirit guides on their celestial trail through the heavens.
The true-life memoir Patrice Chaplin began in City of Secrets continues here in the story of her spiritual initiation into the Kabbalistic tradition preserved since the Middle Ages by a secret society in the pre-Roman city of Girona, Spain. Salvador Dalí was a member of that society, as was the renowned author Umberto Eco, the filmmaker Jean Cocteau, and Jancint Verdeguer, one of the most celebrated Catalan poets. Importantly, so was the mysterious Berenger Sauniere, the priest who in the late 1800s built Rennes-le-Château in southern France, with the Tour Magdala, a tower that is twin to the neo-gothic tower in Girona. In this gripping story that reads like the adventures of a female Castenada, Chaplin is led through a series of initiatory stages which correspond to the magical square of Venus, containing the constellation of the Great Bear.
City of Secrets
Patrice Chaplin began going to Girona, Spain, at age 15, and with each visit she became more enmeshed in its mysteries. She found a lover, Jose; met many strange characters; and heard dark talk of the legendary Abbé Saunière of Rennes-le-Château. She discovered that many of Girona’s townspeople were part of a secret society formed to guard the Abbé’s legacy and his knowledge of the Grail. Eventually the society asks Patrice to be the vehicle for revealing their secrets. This riveting account is the result of that request.