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  • Published: 1 June 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099516422
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $32.99

The Seance




The breakthrough novel from one of Australia's finest writers - a gripping story of ghosts, betrayal and murder in Victorian England

‘Sell the Hall unseen; burn it to the ground and plough the earth with salt, if you will; but never live there…’

London, the 1880s. A young girl grows up in a household marked by death, her father distant, her mother in perpetual mourning for the child she lost. Desperate to coax her mother back to health, Constance Langton takes her to a séance. Perhaps they will find comfort from beyond the grave. But that séance has tragic consequences. Constance is left alone, her only legacy a mysterious bequest will blight her life.

So begins The Séance, John Harwood’s brilliant second novel, a gripping, dark mystery set in late Victorian England. It is a world of apparitions, of disappearances and unnatural phenomena, of betrayal and blackmail and black-hearted villains – and murder. For Constance’s bequest comes in two parts: a house, and a mystery. Years before a family disappeared at Wraxford Hall, a terrifying stately home near the Suffolk coast. Now Constance must find the truth behind the mystery, even at the cost of her life. Because without the truth, she is lost.

  • Published: 1 June 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099516422
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

John Harwood

John Harwood was born in Hobart, Tasmania. Educated in Tasmania and Cambridge, he went on to become Head of the School of English and Drama at Flinders University, Adelaide. He is the author of two books of criticism, Olivia Shakespear and W. B. Yeats and Eliot to Derrida: The Poverty of Interpretation and the novels The Ghost Writer and The Séance.

Also by John Harwood

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Praise for The Seance

The narrative, gracefully conceived, beautifully achieved, races along

Sunday Telegraph

Brilliantly atmospheric dark mystery...Try this if you like being scared out of your wits

Daily Mail

Atmospheric ... Harwood's writing adds a layer of ironic distance to fog effects, black-hearted villains and other old chestnuts

The Times

Everything you could possibly ask for from a novel in this genre

Financial Times

Harwood again proves himself a gifted storyteller.... Seamlessly plotted, it is utterly compelling and full of suspense

Mail on Sunday

a brilliant, post-modern Gothic tale

Philip Womack, Daily Telegraph

Harwood hops between narratives and time to give us a full history of the hall and its occupants, and his research, while impressive, never overwhelms the plot or his characters. Collins and Braddon would be proud

Lesley McDowell, The Herald

John Harwood's brilliant second novel, a gripping, dark, mystery set in late Victorian England

Next Read

An entertaining read

Daily Telegraph

Awards & recognition

Aurealis Award

Winner  •  2008  •  Aurealis Award (Horror)

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