THE GHOST ORCHID By Carol Goodman
Carol Goodman, bestselling author of The Lake of Dead Languages and winner of the Hammett Prize, returns this spring with an enthralling new work of literary suspense. In THE GHOST ORCHID (A Ballantine Books Hardcover; February 7, 2006), Goodman’s exquisite prose, evocative atmosphere and compelling narrative pull readers into the novel’s embrace as deftly as the garden at the heart of Goodman’s story lures writers and artists into its shadows, demanding that a tragic history be told.
For more than one hundred years, creative souls have traveled to the Bosco estate to live and work under its seductive spell. Nestled in the deep hush of crumbling statuary, lush greenery and fountains run dry, novelist Ellis Brooks is writing a book based on the infamous events that took place there during the summer of 1893. All she knows is that wealthy Milo Latham hired notorious medium Corinth Blackwell to help his wife contact their three departed children—only to have the séance turn deadly and his only surviving child abducted.
The daughter of a medium, Ellis is quick to distance herself from any hint of the supernatural. She wants to be taken seriously, and she’s already been accused of writing sensation fiction. So she tries to capture Corinth’s story without letting it haunt her—distancing herself from the voices, disturbing dreams and fragments of Corinth’s possessions that surface as she meanders through Bosco’s overgrown maze in search of inspiration.
But as Ellis and her fellow artists—a biographer defending their nineteenth-century patron Aurora Latham, a famous novelist with a sordid family history, a poet who seems to be the estate’s genus loci and a landscape architect who envisions the grounds in their former glory—uncover the Latham family’s dark secrets, a series of bizarre accidents occurs. The past bleeds into the present, and the tangled truth threatens to ensnare them all.