Life is just one big mystery, isn't it? That's what makes it so darn exciting. Should I turn left, or right? What will happen if I don't answer the door or phone? Should I choose door number one...or door three?
That also includes books. Should I choose a noir mystery? Or a cute, little 'bed-and-breakfast' mystery? Or a political thriller? Hm...serial killers just might be my cup of tea this week.
That is, until I opened M.J. Rose's new novel, 'Seduction'.
I've always been a sucker for mystery novels with an underbelly of the paranormal, especially reincarnation. One chapter dealing with the past, the other dealing with the present, and how both swirl around each other in a passionate dance until it results in a boffo denouement.
Let's just say that 'Seduction' really delivered the tango.
Novelist Victor Hugo's beloved daughter drowned in 1843, and a distraught Hugo begins participating in séances in hopes of contact. Claiming contact with Plato, Galileo, Dante, and even Jesus and the Devil, Hugo writes journals of those conversations, and they have been published. But, it turns out, not all of them...
Jac L'Etoile, mythologist and chief protagonist from Rose's previous novel, 'The Book of Lost Fragrances', is recovering from her own losses. Invited to the Isle of Jersey by Theo Gaspard, an old friend, they investigate Hugo's journey into the world of the paranormal, and Theo is hoping that Jac can help him discover something very different...and very sinister.
M.J. Rose is a master of the atmospheric novel, and this one is no exception (I suggest you read 'The Book of Lost Fragrances' first, if you haven't already). I love how she employs the paranormal to help her characters find their strengths and, perhaps, answer their life-long questions.
With her trademark elegant style, Rose's characters are fully brought to life. The twists-and-turns kept me turning the pages. And things aren't always what they seem.
And that's why I love mysteries...
...because things aren't always what they seem...until you hit that last chapter and the Universe lets you go to dance another day.
'Seduction' will be released May 7, 2013, by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.