This tale creates suspense by inter- twining a ghost story, a reincarnation plot and a gothic feel. Threads of past lives and malevolent spirits from the past affect troubled characters in the present. These elements, combined with Rose’s vivid imagination and beautiful writing, make this a book to savor. Although the story features returning characters, this is fine as a stand-alone read.
Mythologist and perfumer Jac L’Etoile accepts a friend’s invitation to visit the Isle of Jersey to study ancient Celtic sites and help him find a lost journal written by Victor Hugo. She ignores her therapist’s warnings that her somewhat fragile psyche could be in danger. Things are odd in Jersey, with Hugo’s séance-induced ghost appearing to others and Jac experiencing severe blackouts and visions brought on by strange smells. Although Jac has always resisted the idea of reincarnation and the idea that she might be in danger, both may be true. (Atria, May, 384 pp., $24.00)