Michael Stewart, Author HarperCollins Publishers $20 (342p) ISBN 978-0-06-017982-3
The restless spirit of Isabel Hardiment, daughter of a 17th-century Oxford dean, materializes for a Fatal Attraction -type love affair with 20th-century American academic Matthew Cavewood in this high-powered thriller from the British author of Monkey Shines. ``Astonishingly beautiful'' Isabel was hung for murdering the wife of her lover, Nathaniel Shawcrosse--a renowned colleague of Newton's and Boyle's whose experiments in alchemy were based on metaphysical speculation. Matthew's publications on Shawcrosse have garnered him international acclaim and a funded research lab at the University of Virginia. Settling into an old farmhouse with his photographer financee, Hazel, and her young son, Matthew throws himself into Shawcrosse's studies of a drug-induced bridge between mind and matter. His obsession is strong enough to summon the spirit of Isabel, who takes over the body of Josie McDowell, a car accident victim, and starts a wildly erotic, drug-enflamed relationship with Matthew in the belief that he is Nathaniel. Confronted by Hazel, Matthew decides to cut ``Josie'' loose and awakens a rage that, having smoldered for centuries, now focuses on revenge. Hazel deals stoically with Matthew's loose grip on reality, while Matthew himself struggles to protect his loved ones from menace. Stewart maintains the suspense throughout this highly readable tale, and his settings ring true despite a few jarring Britishisms on the lips of his American characters. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1992
Release date: 07/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 480 pages - 978-0-06-109065-3
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