SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE
‘A page-turner with the authority of history’ PHILIPPA GREGORY
‘As gripping as a novel. An engaging, unsettling, deeply satisfying read’ SARAH WATERS
London, 1938. Alma Fielding, an ordinary young woman, begins to experience supernatural events in her suburban home.
Nandor Fodor – a Jewish-Hungarian refugee and chief ghost hunter for the International Institute for Psychical research – begins to investigate. In doing so he discovers a different and darker type of haunting: trauma, alienation, loss – and the foreshadowing of a nation’s worst fears. As the spectre of Fascism lengthens over Europe, and as Fodor’s obsession with the case deepens, Alma becomes ever more disturbed.
With rigour, daring and insight, the award-winning pioneer of historical narrative non-fiction Kate Summerscale shadows Fodor’s enquiry, delving into long-hidden archives to find the human story behind a very modern haunting.
‘An empathetic, meticulous account of a spiritual unravelling; a tribute to the astonishing power of the human mind – but also a properly absorbing, baffling, satisfying detective story’ AIDA EDEMARIAM
A PICK OF THE AUTUMN IN THE TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, OBSERVER AND THE GUARDIAN