One hundred years after her death, Emma Rose Finnis still haunts Lambry House, nestled along the harsh coast of northern California. When the last of the Lambrys dies however, Emma must match wits with a ghost hunter who's come to cleanse the estate of her spirit.
Dressler (The Deadwood Beetle, 2001, etc.) conjures a bewitching seacoast village swathed in fog and rimmed by fierce, cold, crashing waves. It’s a strange parallel world in which ghost hunters have rid most towns of all ghosts, revenants unconvinced of their own deaths. Clever and careful, Emma has avoided complete obliteration from the hunters’ strange weapons, yet the arrival of the Danes, who hope to renovate the historic estate, provokes her. Able to manipulate the physical world, Emma locks them in a pantry, bewilders them into thinking they're drowning, and then kicks them roughly into the hallway. The realtor, Ellen, is astonished when, instead of fleeing the premises, Mr. Dane immediately signs a contract for the house, vowing to rid the place of its ghost. Pratt, the hunter, is a cruelly calculating man, but Emma may well prove his match. Dressler’s tale compellingly shifts and slips between Emma’s long-buried life story and her increasingly eerie cat-and-mouse game with Pratt. A century ago, riven with loss—of her mother to childbirth, of her father to a horrific shipping accident—Emma gamely accepts Mrs. Augustus Lambry’s lucrative offer to work for the new family up at the lighthouse, an offer she knows is intended to keep her awayfrom Quint, the family's eldest son. Mrs. Lambry's ploy, however, sets into motion a series of disasters. Quint, utterly besotted, follows Emma to her new post, but his parents’ opposition frustrates him. Meanwhile the lighthouse keeper has noticed Emma’s beauty. As the veil lifts on Emma’s star-crossed fate, more secrets come to light, and Pratt’s relentless pursuit coils into dangerous waters.
A gorgeous mystery of love that twists into curses.