Author Alyxandra Harvey
Release date: June 21, 2011
Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose. Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?
Review: Behind the Victorian curtain lurks a secret fascination with the after-life. The science and seance of mediums, performance, magic and paranormal are invited into the drawing rooms of elite society and pray on the grief stricken and bored. The Gothic darkness paired with the proper etiquette of the era makes for a scandalised mixture that is both historically interesting as well as mesmerizing. The macabre halls, hauntings and visual images are authentic and remind me of The Castle of Otranto by Horace Warpole, a classic example of gothic horror. Although Violet's character might feel modern at times, it is vital to remember that women of her situation were allowed greater freedoms. Her spirit is captivating and her mother a perfect Victorian villain set on exploiting whatever she can to survive in a world where men determine and control everything.
*ARC provided courtesy of Walker Books and Bloomsbury