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Publisher's Summary

London, 1823. Mary Shelley's real-life friend Isabella Baxter Booth is 'disturbed in her reason' - seeing ghosts and dependent on narcotics to escape a hellish life with an increasingly violent, deranged husband.

Fearful of her own murderous impulses towards him, Isabella flees for her childhood home in Scotland, where she meets an ambitious young doctor, Alexander Balfour. He will stop at nothing to establish a reputation as a genius with the cure for madness, and he believes that Isabella could be the key to his greatness.

But as his own torments threaten to overwhelm Alexander, is he really the best judge of which way madness lies?

Audio recording and editing by Sophie Franklin.

©2013 Lesley McDowell (P)2013 Saraband

Critic Reviews

"A meticulously researched gothic novel full of madness, ghosts and murderous desires. Lesley McDowell brilliantly evokes the tension between the scientific imagination and creative longings. Monstrously good." (Louise Welsh, author of The Cutting Room)

More praise for Lesley McDowell:

"McDowell’s confident writing boasts smart dialogue and subtle lyrical style throughout." (Scottish Review of Books)

"Controversial and provocative." (The Independent)

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