Hazardous Spirits brilliantly captures a young woman’s world unsettled by mediums and spirits, revealing the devastating secrets that ghosts from the past can tell when given the voice to do so.
In 1920s Edinborough, Scotland, Evelyn Hazard is a young, middle-class housewife living the life she’s always expected—until her husband Robert upends everything with a startling announcement: he can communicate with the dead.
As the couple is pulled into the spiritualist movement—an underground, occult society of ritual and magic that emerged following the mass deaths of the Spanish Flu and First World War—Evelyn’s carefully composed world begins to unravel. And when long-held secrets from her past threaten to come to the surface, presenting her with the prospect of losing all she holds dear, Evelyn finds herself unable to avoid the question: is the man she loves a fraud, a madman or—most frighteningly—is he telling the truth?
Cloaked in a moody, beguiling backdrop of twentieth-century Scotland, Anbara Salam’s Hazardous Spirits brings a sparkling sense of period detail and dry humor to the life of a young woman calibrating her place in a changing world, and her shifting relationship with a man she thought she knew.
A darkly sumptuous love letter to the ghosts of Edinburgh past, guaranteed to give you goosebumps. Under its veneer of eccentric frivolity and acerbic wit, Hazardous Spirits is a heartbreaking exploration of collective grief and personal trauma. An exquisitely written work of Caledonian gothic.
—Francine Toon, author of Pine
Equal parts lush Gothic mystery and delicately-wrought 1920’s domestic drama, Hazardous Spirits is a riveting exploration of the unknowable—whether it’s ghosts, spirits, or the people we love most.
—Tara Isabella Burton, author of Social Creature