Book Review: Seduction by: M.J. Rose

Rating: 5/5

Publisher: Atria Books

Publish Date: May 7, 2013

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: Hardcover

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost letters 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.

Review: After the events in ‘The Book of Lost Fragrances’, Jac L’Etoile has returned in ‘Seduction’. She is called to visit an old friend, Theo Gaspard, who has requested she assist him in discovering lost Celtic secrets on the Isle of Jersey. On the same isle, in 1853, Victor Hugo and his family become involved in spiritualism. Hugo becomes obsessed with conducting séances to contact his daughter who had drowned ten years previous. However, there is an ancient spirit who promises to grant Hugo’s greatest wish if he does a mighty favor in return. Hugo and Jac’s stories intertwine and perhaps not all spirits are still at rest.

Ms. Rose has written a compelling novel with two stories intertwining from the past through the present events. Jac L’Etoile is working on recovering from the events of a few months prior when she sees a letter from an old friend in her mentor’s things. Against Malachi’s advice, Jac goes to Theo Gaspard’s house on the Isle of Jersey and works to discover the mysteries hidden there. Yet there is so much more than Jac is expecting. Over a hundred years prior, Victor Hugo lived, loved, grieved, and cultivated an obsession with talking to spirits on the Isle of Jersey. It was amazing to see both the Celtic history and the more recent history come to life during the investigation by Jac and Theo. Scent, of course, still played a major part in the story given Jac’s background and family history. The descriptions made the location and the people come alive for me. I enjoy Jac’s down-to-earth personality, even though she seeks for something she’s not sure she wants to find. The pieces of Victor Hugo’s life were exquisitely rich and detailed, with an obvious fictional twist, yet incorporating so many verifiable details. ‘Seduction’ is definitely an epic tale and I was very happy to join Jac on another adventure of the mind and spirit into history.

About the Author: M.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 Reincarnationist 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.

The Reincarnationist series: The Reincarnationist (1), The Memorist (2), The Hypnotist (3), The Book of Lost Fragrances (4), Seduction (5)


  1. Thanks for a wonderful post. I like this review so much and now to find this book.

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback and for reading the reviews!


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