Book Review: Seduction by M.J. Rose

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M.J. Rose
Publication Date:  May 7, 2013
Atria Books
Hardcover; 384p
ISBN: 978-1-4516-2150-1


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A Novel of Suspense
The Reincarnationist #5
M.J. Rose
Atria Books, May 2013
ISBN 978-1-4516-2150-1

From the publisher—

From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost journal of novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries.

In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.

Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.

What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.

There are a handful of authors who create a sort of dichotomy in me when it comes to their books, meaning I don’t care so much for some and can’t stay away from others. M.J. Rose is one of those authors in that I don’t really get pulled in by her Butterfield Institute series or her other novels—just not my cuppa—but I’d walk miles to get the latest in the Reincarnation series. The quality of writing is top-notch no matter what the book is but there’s just something about the latter that takes it all to a new level.

For the initiate, it’s not really accurate to refer to the Reincarnation books as a series because the first three are  standalones while Seduction is a sequel to the fourth book, The Book of Lost Fragrances; the reader just starting could read the first four in any order but should read The Book of Lost Fragrances before Seduction. All five share the common theme of reincarnation and, of course, all are a blend of past and present.

Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables and numerous other works, would appear to be the most unlikely of candidates for belief in spiritualism but, in fact, he did engage in it, including many seances in an effort to reach the spirit of his beloved daughter. Part of Hugo’s political exile was spent on the Isle of Jersey and this is where he began his participation in the world of spiritualism.  It is here that mythologist Jac L’Etoile finds herself experiencing a life that is far different from her own and, in so doing, we learn much about this man that makes him real, someone with hopes and tribulations we don’t normally consider with those historical figures who have become larger than life.

Jac has a sensitivity to smell and Ms. Rose evokes those aromas that surround Jac with a sense of being there that made me occasionally believe I was detecting these scents myself. That’s just one of the ways this author brings her characters to life and, whether they’re villains, heroines or just normal people, you don’t forget them. I can’t ask anything more of an author when it comes to character development. Ms. Rose is not too shabby with plotting either and I simply love the deft way she mixes history with romance and intrigue, keeping the reader entertained and never overwhelmed by all the twists and turns. Seduction is  a story you won’t want to miss.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, May 2013.

Please come back tomorrow for an interview with M.J. Rose


About the Author

MJ RoseM.J. Rose is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio.  Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors –  The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype.  She is also the co-founder of and

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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