By Morag Joss
(Delacorte Press, Hardcover, 9780385339780, 384pp.)
Publication Date: August 29, 2006
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CWA Silver Dagger Award winner Morag Joss peers into the soul of a wounded family in this haunting, harrowing masterpiece of psychological suspense. With equal parts subtlety and menace, Joss takes us on a dizzying journey toward a collision between fantasy and reality—and an astounding moment of revelation that shatters illusions, hopes, and lives forever.
The year is 1960. The place is a Scottish seaside town utterly devoid of culture and charm. Here, Lila lives as the third player in her parents’ dramatically embittered marriage. Until her flamboyant, irrepressible uncle George shows up from London and her family decides to squander a windfall on the most preposterous of causes: a civic production of the Puccini opera Turandot.
Lila knows nothing of opera and little of her uncle or the dashing young man he hires to sing the role of Calaf. But Lila does know passion. Because it’s coursing through her veins—and rushing blindly, wildly all around her. Now a girl on the verge of womanhood is about to blunder into a grown-up world where secrets are kept and exposed, hopes soar and wither, and where crimes petty and great exact the most chilling punishments of all.
Masterfully paced and spellbinding till its final, haunting scene, Puccini’s Ghosts is a piercing look into the fierce darkness that lurks behind seemingly ordinary lives.
Morag Joss grew up on the west coast of Scotland. Her first Sara Selkirk novel, Funeral Music, was nominated by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association for the Dilys Award for the year’s favorite mystery. Her fourth novel, Half Broken Things, won the 2003 CWA Silver Dagger Award. Morag Joss lives in the country outside the city of Bath and in London.
“Morag Joss has been compared to those other two premiere weird sisters in crime, Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine and Minette Walters. Such compliments are tossed about all too lightly in the publishing world, but this one is so justified that it seems like an understatement.”—Washington Post Book World
"A cast of expertly drawn characters."—Publishers Weekly