Graves GateBook - 2003
This chilling novel set in post-World War I London, traverses the strange and often frightening intersection between Spiritualism and early psychiatry, featuring a murderous psychiatrist named Dr. Bernard Gussmann, whose occult experiments include a dark practice he dubs "subgnostic possession." Spiritualists of the day included the famous author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who here has an opportunity to legitimize his unusual beliefs when he receives what seems to be a letter from the supposedly long-dead doctor extending an offer Doyle cannot refuse: communing with the deceased in exchange for a small favor. Doyle must bring any one of three people named in the letter to visit a woman in prison awaiting execution for murder. Each is a former patient of Gussmann's. Is the letter a hoax? Is Dr. Gussmann really somehow still alive? Doyle seeks help from his American journalist friend, Charles Baker, who teams up with Adrianna Wallace, wife of a prominent Member of Parliament. As the trio uncover the backgrounds of the three people listed in the letter and follow the ethereal track of Gussmann, they soon learn that they are accomplices to a deadly game of musical chairs.
Publisher: New York : Carroll & Graf, c2003.
Branch Call Number: MYS BUR
Characteristics: 423 p.