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Hazardous Spirits

On sale

12th October 2023

Price: £16.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399806589

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‘An exquisitely written work of Caledonian gothic’ Francine Toon, author of Pine

‘A darkly sparkling jewel of a book’ Kirsty Logan, author of Now She is Witch

Edinburgh, 1923.

Evelyn Hazard is a young woman living a comfortable and unremarkable middle-class life. One day, her quiet existence is shattered when her steady, reliable husband Robert makes a startling announcement: he can communicate with the dead.

As the couple are pulled into the spiritualist movement that emerged following the mass deaths caused by the First World War and the Spanish Flu, Evelyn’s life becomes increasingly unsettled as dark secrets from her past threaten to surface.

Faced with the prospect of losing all that is dear to her, Evelyn finds herself asking: is the man she loves a fraud, a madman or – most frighteningly – is he telling the truth?

A gothic literary mystery, written in sparkling prose, Hazardous Spirits evokes the spirit of 1920s Edinburgh, in all its bohemian vibrancy.

‘With the literary lyricism and precise historical detail of a Sarah Waters novel . . . Salam injects a wry humour into this tale of secrets, lies, and the power of the ghosts of our pasts’ Entertainment Weekly

‘Full of heart and strangeness’ Nell Stevens, author of Briefly, A Delicious Life

‘A riveting exploration of the unknowable’ Tara Isabella Burton, author of Social Creature


J.M. Varese, author of THE COMPANY
Perfectly eerie . . . 1920s Edinburgh comes alive as its bohemian post-war players commingle with the dead
Francine Toon, author of PINE
A darkly sumptuous love letter to the ghosts of 1920s Edinburgh, 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
Tara Isabella Burton, author of SOCIAL CREATURE
Equal parts lush Gothic mystery and delicately-wrought 1920s domestic melodrama, Hazardous Spirits is a riveting exploration of the unknowable - whether it's ghosts, spirits, or the people we love most
Nell Stevens, author of BRIEFLY, A DELICIOUS LIFE
Unnerving, dark and rich, Hazardous Spirits is a novel full of heart and strangeness
Kirsty Logan, author of NOW SHE IS WITCH
A darkly sparkling jewel of a book: haunting, vivid and stuffed full of secrets
Publishers Weekly
Densely atmospheric . . . Salam crafts a believable portrait of the 1920s spiritualism scene. Historical fiction fans will savour this
This darkly atmospheric tale asks where the line between charity and deceit lies in a society haunted by those gone too soon
Charming, evocative, and very well-researched
[A] glittering historical novel
Entertainment Weekly
With the literary lyricism and precise historical detail of a Sarah Waters novel . . . Salam injects a wry humour into this tale of secrets, lies, and the power of the ghosts of our pasts
Best Magazine
This will keep you guessing
Crime Time
Hazardous Spirits weaves something of a tenebrous spell over 1920s Edinburgh . . . Both a domestic thriller and a powerful historical evocation . . . this is a slow burner with an icy grip
Daisy Buchanan, author of LIMELIGHT
Lush, atmospheric and completely captivating . . . It's the ultimate fireside read, combining Mitford levels of glamour with a haunting edge
Daily Mail
Ghosts, gaslighting and the eerie allure of the afterlife meet in this Edinburgh-set gothic novel
Sunday Post
Elegantly wrought in crystalline prose, Hazardous Spirits is masterful in its navigation of its subject matter - death - deftly dealing with the lugubrious but without succumbing to it
Locus Magazine
Hazardous Spirits is a dark delight, perfect winter reading
Scots Magazine
A modern gothic masterpiece . . . with stunning prose and a thrilling plot, Hazardous Spirits is a thoroughly captivating read
Glasgow Herald
A compelling portrait of a woman spiralling down into an irresolvable crisis
Historical Novel Society
Salam calls attention to family, loyalty, love, and trust . . . I enjoyed this take on the between-wars era and the author's comforting humour, which beautifully captures the spirit of the times