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 WATERSLondon, 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 EDEMARIAMA PICK OF THE AUTUMN IN THE TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, OBSERVER AND THE GUARDIAN