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Los Angeles, 2002. Alex Whitman is hired by an enigmatic collector to locate what could be the first movie ever made—Séance Infernale. Its creator, Augustin Sekuler, is considered by those in the know to be the true inventor of motion pictures—not the Lumière brothers or Thomas Edison. In 1890, Sekular had boarded a Paris-bound train from Dijon, days before he was to present to the world his greatest new invention: a moving picture machine. But he never arrived at Gare de Lyon. He and his moving picture machine vanished, never to be heard from again.
When Whitman tracks down what could be fragments of Sekuler’s famously lost film, questions are raised—about Sekuler, about the fate of him and his invention, and about the film itself. And the stakes become ratcheted up as these riddles lead to a darker, far more dangerous mystery. At once riveting, atmospheric, and filled with vivid historical detail, Séance Infernale is a heart-pounding work of mystery and suspense.
About the Author
Jonathan Skariton was born in Athens, Greece, and attended the University of Edinburgh and the University of Wales, Bangor. He has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience and experimental psychology. Skariton works as a cognitive neuroscientist for the largest fragrance manufacturer in the world. He lives in Kent, England.
“Thrilling. . . . Mesmerizing.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A menacing Gothic nightmare, a love letter to the dawn of cinema. . . . A whipsaw ride. . . . Good, giddy fun.” —Scott Smith, author of The Ruins
“Da Vinci Code-esque. . . . Especially fun for classic film buffs. . . . Breathless readers will scramble to keep up.” —Publishers Weekly
“If you are a fan of Caleb Carr or Dan Brown, get ready for an exciting new voice named Jonathan Skariton. . . . A recommended thriller.” —Mystery Tribune
“Ingenious. . . . Dramatic, film-worthy. . . . Becomes like a 3-D or 4-D puzzle with touches of malice, magic and mysticism. . . . [Skariton] is whip-smart and knowledgeable.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“A rip-roaring pulp-fiction thriller filled with sinister subterranean spaces—labyrinths, tunnels, caves—in an exotically-rendered Edinburgh. But uniquely, it is also an eye-opening excursion into the origins of cinema, as Skariton, meshing fact with fantasy, explores the hidden history of the all-but-unknown inventor of moving pictures. Irresistible.” —Foster Hirsch, author of Film Noir: The Dark Side of the Screen
“Captivating. . . . Entertaining. . . . The gothic and supernatural atmosphere of the novel is its most engaging facet and this alone will most certainly keep the average mystery/thriller reader on the edge of their seat until the heart pounding final pages.” —New York Journal of Books
“A post-millennial gothic ripsnorter . . . blends old-fashioned suspense and up-to-the-minute sadism in the dark streets and even darker underbelly of Edinburgh. . . . An intricately designed thriller. . . . Its basic premise fascinates, and its fog-shrouded intrigue keeps your head in the game.” —Kirkus Reviews