Fiction Short Take: The Possessions – Sara Flannery Murphy

This debut is a high-concept thriller that draws from several genres. From speculative fiction comes a world where people who take a pill and channel the dead—and do so professionally. They become “bodies” who help the grief stricken living communicate with their dead loved ones by using a possession of the deceased. (Hence the lipstick on the cover.)

And from romantic suspense we get the story of a young female “body” with a mysterious past who starts to fall in love with an attractive client who is trying to commune with his wife. And like the best romantic suspense, neither she nor he are quite what they seem–the unraveling of the lush, erotic mystery is its pleasure.

Three starred reviews point to a crowd-pleaser, as well as national coverage in People, Cosmo and Salon to start.

“[Working as a body] perfectly suits emotionally guarded Edie, who apparently wants nothing more than to lose herself after a traumatic past, which only gradually emerges. But her carefully maintained shell starts to crack when she begins sessions with Patrick Braddock, an attractive lawyer, whose stunning wife, Sylvia, drowned 18 months earlier under suspicious circumstances….[H]er efforts to investigate what happened that night at a lake outside the city—and its potential connection to a recently discovered Jane Doe—land her in very real jeopardy. Those ready to buy into the author’s premise will be rewarded by a beautifully rendered, haunting page-turner.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Murphy’s sublime debut is immersive from page one….Murphy expertly blends the dual mysteries of the circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s death and Edie’s own tragic past with suspense and sf-tinged mystery in a complex novel that is both unforgettable and impossible to put down.”
Booklist (starred review)

“This poignant tale is a study of grief and obsession…. Murphy’s imaginative debut is a haunting ghost story and a thrilling mystery that will engross readers until the final page.”
Library Journal (starred review)

The Possessions (9780062458322) by Sara Flannery Murphy. $26.99 hardcover. 2/7/17 on sale.


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