In her award-winning novel, Mostert blends alchemy, the art of memory, high magic and murder to create a highly original psychological thriller.
Gabriel Blackstone is a cool, hip, thoroughly twenty-first century Londoner with an unusual talent. A computer hacker by trade, he is also a remote viewer: able to ‘slam a ride’ through the minds of others.
But he uses his gift only reluctantly ― until he is contacted by an ex-lover who begs him to find her step-son, last seen months earlier in the company of two sisters.
And so Gabriel visits Monk House, a place where time seems to stand still, and where the rooms are dominated by the coded symbol of a cross and circle.
As winter closes in, Gabriel becomes increasingly bewitched by the house, and by its owners, the beautiful and mysterious Monk sisters. But even as he falls in love, he knows that one of them is a killer.
Towards the end of last year I came across this author on Netgalley with her most recent book Dark Prayer (also reviewed on my blog) and I loved it. It was definitely one of my books of the year. Wanting to read some more I picked Season of the Witch which I didn’t know until after I had read it has won The Book To Talk About: World Book Day Award. I have to say that it more than deserves its award.
It is a long time since I read it but this book reminded me of The Magus by John Fowles but with none of the confusion of that book.
The story is about Gabriel Blackstone a computer hacker, or as he says himself, a thief. He steals secrets and sells them to the competition. An extremely lucrative business. But Gabriel has another talent; he is a remote viewer, he can see into other people’s minds.
After a visit from his ex-girlfriend, Gabriel is reluctantly drawn into the search for her missing stepson Robert Whittington. This leads him to Monk House and the mysterious Monk sisters, Morrighan and Minnaloushe. They are very different sisters; one is full of physicality the other cerebral, one has black hair the other a redhead, one writes a diary the other is a murderer.
Gabriel is drawn further and further into the world of Monk House just as Robert Whittington was before him, he believes he is strong enough to keep his own mind but then makes a discovery about the sisters and realises that he may end up losing it..and more.
Natasha Mostert is a wonderful, intelligent writer. She takes what could easily come across as a dense complex story and turns it into an immensely readable thriller which includes; murder, mystery, magic, alchemy, memory and romance and what’s more every page of it works.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys intelligent writing with a brilliant storyline and beautiful prose. You will sink into this book and not want to come up.
Natasha Mostert is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and I am really looking forward to reading more.