The Spirit Engineer
‘A fiendishly clever tale of ambition, deception, and power.’ DERREN BROWN
Belfast, 1914. Two years after the sinking of the Titanic, high society has become obsessed with spiritualism, attending séances in the hope they might reach their departed loved ones.
William Jackson Crawford is a man of science and a sceptic, but one night with everyone sitting around the circle, voices come to him – seemingly from beyond the veil – placing doubt in his heart and a seed of obsession in his mind. Could the spirits truly be communicating with him or is this one of Kathleen’s parlour tricks gone too far?
Based on the true story of Professor William Jackson Crawford and famed medium Kathleen Goligher, and with a cast of characters including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, The Spirit Engineer conjures a haunted, twisted tale of power, paranoia and one ultimate, inescapable truth...
PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT ENGINEER
‘I adored this book. Haunting, witty and deeply moving, The Spirit Engineer is surely set to become a gothic classic. I was instantly drawn into the mystery and swept along by the shocking twists and turns. A beautifully written novel.’ JODIE WHITTAKER, ACTOR
‘A.J. West has history at his fingertips and writes brilliantly - so clever it makes your head spin! The Spirit Engineer is a work of true invention and drama that moves at a cracking pace from the very first page and keeps you guessing. A compelling and daring book.’ JEREMY VINE, BROADCASTER
‘Set in a historical moment where science and spiritualism meet, The Spirit Engineer is an ingeniously plotted debut novel.’ SARAH BURTON, AUTHOR OF THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H
‘A marvellous and menacing gothic chiller, filled with secrets and soaked in atmosphere, in which the ghouls and fiends are not of the other world, but this one...’ NEIL BLACKMORE, AUTHOR OF THE INTOXICATING MR LAVELLE
‘A spooky tale of frustrated ambition, hidden loyalties, and desperation, told with wit, charm and devastating twists. A gothic novel that also manages to make you laugh, even if you shouldn't.’ JONATHAN HARVEY, PLAYWRIGHT
‘With a skilful misdirection that any Edwardian spirit medium would be proud to demonstrate, A.J. West soon turns the screw in this fascinating novel… Obsession builds until the stunning climax of the final shocking séance and its awful repercussions. Was William right to be convinced? Did he prove ghosts exist?’ ESSIE FOX, AUTHOR OF THE SOMNAMBULIST
‘A gripping, gothic story anchored in the political and spiritual chaos of Edwardian Belfast. Part horror, part history, The Spirit Engineer is a chilling and thought-provoking tale of exploitation, faith, deception, fraud, séances, hubris, and prejudice… accomplished and page-turning. Fans of Penny Dreadful and The Nevers will love it.’ GARETH RUSSELL, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR OF THE SHIP OF DREAMS: THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC AND THE END OF EDWARDIAN BELFAST