Albert is a bright boy—a despised quality in his gritty 1840s town. Desperate to belong, he fails to prove himself worth his salt until a captivating stranger offers a vision of New York City, where one can become a hero as a scholar.

The catch? His new mentor is Edward Rulloff, an accomplished physician, lawyer, professor, inventor, linguist fluent in 27 languages—and serial killer. 

Soon caught up in an epic test of loyalty and betrayal, Albert must wrestle with the meaning of justice, and decide for himself whether Rulloff is a genius or a madman—all while trying to survive his thrilling, shameful, and dangerous adventures. 

Based on the true story that riveted the 19th-century, IRDA Award-Winning The Prisoner’s Apprentice has all the makings of a classic. In a compelling twist on true crime drama, we know whodunit from the start. The genuine mystery teased out through this unforgettable psychological thriller is why

A must-read for anyone who loves Erik Larson, Lindsay Faye or Robert McCammon. 

Buy the Book

"Grabbed me on page one"

— Lolly Winston, New York Times bestselling author

"Completely riveting storytelling"

— Ellen Sussman, New York Times bestselling author

Winner of the 2022 Indie Readers Discovery Award for Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Finalist for the 2022 Eric Hoffer Award, and recipient of an Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion.

About the author

Cheyenne Richards is an award-winning author who loves everything on the planet except Swiss cheese. She’s a polka-dot-loving tomboy and a Palo Alto native drawn to the past as much as the future. 

She's lived in California, Australia, Singapore, and most recently Mexico aboard a small sailboat named Pristine. Cheyenne is also the great-great-grand-niece of Edward Rulloff.

The Prisoner’s Apprentice is her first novel.

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