The Spirit Photographer

The Spirit Photographer
Jon Michael Varese
Price: £
  • Hardback
3 May 2018
  • Historical Fiction
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The debut historical thriller about a charismatic conman haunted by a ghost of his past.

With dramatic twists and turns reminiscent of Gothic novels, The Spirit Photographer is replete with fugitive hunters, voodoo healers, and dangers lurking in the swamp. Varese’s deftly plotted debut is an intense tale of death and betrayal that will thrill readers as they unravel the mystery behind the spirit in the photograph and what became of her. 

Boston, 1870. Photographer Edward Moody runs a booming business capturing the images of the spirits of the departed in his portraits. He lures grieving widows and mourning mothers into his studio with promises of catching the ghosts of their deceased loved ones with his camera. Despite the whispers around town that Moody is a fraud of the basest kind, no one has been able to expose him, and word of his gift has spread, earning him money, fame, and a growing list of illustrious clients.

One day, while developing the negative from a sitting to capture the spirit of the departed son of a senator, Moody is shocked to see a different spectral figure develop before his eyes. Instead of the staged image of the boy he was expecting, the camera has seemingly captured the spirit of a young black woman.

When Moody recognizes the woman, he is compelled to travel from Boston to the Louisiana bayou to resolve their unfinished business. But more than one person is out to stop him… 

Jon Michael Varese

About Jon Michael Varese

Jon Michael Varese is a literary historian whose focus has been the significance of the nineteenth-century British novel in both the UK and America. He is the Director of Public Outreach for The Dickens Project at the University of California and the editor of the signature edition of Great Expectations (2012). The Spirit Photographer is his first novel.