cover image Seduction


M.J. Rose. Atria, $24 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4516-2150-1

The 1843 drowning death of Victor Hugo’s beloved eldest daughter, Didine, provides the catalyst for Rose’s well-crafted paranormal novel of suspense, a sequel to The Book of Lost Fragrances (2012). In 1855, Hugo, who has exiled himself to the island of Jersey, agrees to a playwright friend’s suggestion that he attempt to communicate with Didine’s spirit at a séance. The effort to establish contact from beyond the grave succeeds, but as the novelist notes, in so doing he gave the devil “access to my very soul.” Meanwhile, in the present, Jac L’Etoile, the protagonist of The Book of Lost Fragrances, arrives on Jersey to investigate a discovery in her area of expertise—Druid mythology. That discovery stems from a document Hugo wrote, linking the two narratives. Rose is especially good at recreating Hugo’s despair and willingness to do anything to reunite with Didine, making his abandonment of rationality all too plausible. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (May)