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The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy
  

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Longlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2017.

At an organization that allows the grief-stricken to reconnect with lost loved ones, an affair between a worker and an enigmatic client threatens to uncover disturbing secrets.

Synopsis

The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

Who will prevail - the woman or the ghost? For five years Edie has worked for the Elysian Society, a secretive organisation that provides a very specialised service: its clients come to reconnect with their dead loved ones by channelling them through living 'Bodies'. Edie is one such Body, perhaps the best in the team, renowned for her professionalism and discretion. But everything changes when Patrick, a distraught husband, comes to look for traces of his drowned wife in Edie. The more time that Edie spends as the glamorous, enigmatic Sylvia, the closer she comes to falling in love with Patrick. And the more mysterious the circumstances around Sylvia's death appear. As Edie falls under Sylvia's spell, she must discover not only the couple's darkest secrets, but also her own long-buried memories and desires - before it's too late.

Reviews

'An enthralling meditation on grief and memory cloaked in suspenseful psychodrama, The Possessions dissolves the boundaries of past and present and artfully, heartbreakingly maps the consequences of transgressive desire. Sara Flannery Murphy has written the best kind of ghost story.'
Robin Wasserman, author of Girls on Fire

'The Possessions might be the most affecting, riveting novel about love and obsession I've read in a decade. Sara Flannery Murphy possesses the dystopian imagination of Margaret Atwood and the keen feminist incisiveness of Heidi Julavits, but the haunting, seductive prose is all her own. This is a literary ghost story for a whole new generation.'
Christopher Bollen, author of Orient

'A literary descendant of the iconic novels Rebecca and Never Let Me Go, Sara Flannery Murphy's haunting, auspicious debut explores the enduring nature of grief and guilt and the myriad ways the uses of the body can stave off the loneliness of the soul.'
Helen Schulman, author of This Beautiful Life

'I was totally immersed in the strange, beautiful world of Sara Flannery Murphy's The Possessions. A gripping, chilling read that's part love story, part mystery, and completely original, it's sensuous, scary, and utterly thrilling. I've never read anything quite like it.'
Anton DiSclafani, author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

'Sara Flannery Murphy casts a spell as devilish and dazzling as the language she uses to cast it. Once you enter the erotically charged, psychologically gripping world of her debut novel, The Possessions, there is, truly, no going back or getting out.'
Kathryn Davis author of Duplex: A Novel

'As well as being a supernatural tale, brilliantly evoking a time not quite our own but almost, The Possessions is a meditation on love, obsession and grief. In an almost Kafka-esque world, Sara Flannery Murphy's subtle, spare, and poised writing creates a gripping sense of threat that makes the book compelling reading.'
Lucy Jago author of Montacute House

'A beautifully rendered, haunting page-turner.'
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Sara Flannery Murphy was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. Throughout Murphy’s childhood, her family divided their time between Little Rock and Eureka Springs, a small tourist town and artists’ community in the Ozark Mountains. Murphy received her MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. While living in St. Louis, she studied with writers including Kathryn Davis. She also had the chance to teach creative writing. She later attended the University of British Columbia, where her studies had a focus on library science. An avid bookworm, Murphy especially loves thrillers and mysteries. Some of her major influences include Shirley Jackson and Charlotte Brönte. She enjoys TV series and films that explore the dark and the uncanny, from procedural dramas to horror. Murphy currently lives in an Oklahoma college town with her husband and son. Her shorter work has appeared in journals including Storyglossia and Tammy. The Possessions is her first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

9th March 2017

Author

Sara Flannery Murphy

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Author's Website

saraflannerymurphy.com/

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Publisher

Scribe Publications

Format

Hardback
368 pages

Categories

Family Drama
All Shortlists and Winners
Thriller / Suspense
2017 CWA Daggers
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Thriller / suspense
Horror & ghost stories

ISBN

9781911344032

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