After his mother dies in a suspicious drowning accident, Cameron Brown and his ex-girlfriend Lydia Brooke take over her unfinished biography of Isaac Newton and find themselves investigating both 17th- and 21st-century murders. Animal rights extremists, supernatural forces, and historical mysteries all play intriguing roles in this razor-sharp debut from Rebecca Stott.
In 2002, a Cambridge historian is found dead, floating down the river Cam, a glass prism in her hand, after researching a book about a series of suspicious circumstances surrounding Newton's appointment as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1667. That year, two Fellows died by falling down staircases, apparently drunk; another died in a field, apparently drunk; and a fourth was expelled, having gone mad–leaving vacancies for new appointments and paving the way for Newton’s extraordinary scientific discoveries. When Lydia Brooke, at the request of her ex-lover, the historian’s son, steps in to finish the book, strange shows of light begin to play on the walls, and papers disappear only to reappear elsewhere. And when events escalate to murder, and Lydia’s rekindled romance appears increasingly implicated in the danger, the present becomes entangled with the seventeenth century, with Isaac Newton at the center of the mystery.
Filled with evocative descriptions of Cambridge, past and present, of seventeenth-century glassmaking, alchemy, the Great Plague, and Newton’s scientific innovations, Ghostwalk centers on a real historical mystery that Rebecca Stott has uncovered, involving Newton’s alchemy. A riveting literary thriller, Ghostwalk is a rare debut that will change the way most of us think about scientific innovation, our perception of time, and the force of history.
When the death of a Cambridge historian leaves her opus on Sir Isaac Newton and his alchemy unfinished, Lydia Brooke is called in to finish the book and becomes embroiled in a mystery in which the present becomes entangled with a past based on Newton's life and an investigation into four suspicious deaths that took place in seventeenth-century Cambridge. A first novel. Reprint. 75,000 first printing.
Industry Reviews "Rebecca Stott...has accomplished something distinctively fresh....She manages to invoke both the non-causal entanglements of quantum physics and the paranoid conspiracies of Pynchon and DeLillo. Her home terrain, however, is the river-riven landscape of the human heart." (05/14/2007)
"Stott skillfully binds fact with fiction in an insightful story that surprises and intrigues." (03/15/2007)
British historian [Rebecca] Stott makes a stunning debut with this hypnotic and intelligent thriller....Much more than a clever whodunit, this taut, atmospheric novel...will leave readers hoping that Stott has many more stories in her future." (starred review) (02/26/2007)