I first discovered Natasha Mostert's work with the release of Season of the Witch in 2007. There are some books that I have distinct memories of discovering and this is one. We'd hit up the Boulder Bookstore after brunch and I was browsing through their new hardcovers on the bottom floor. I'd never heard of Mostert prior to coming across that one but the description was irresistible; I had to have the book. And I loved it! Adored it even! Mostert quickly became a new favorite of mine thanks to Season.
In my attempt to then acquire anything and everything she had written at the time, I did manage to track down used copies of Windwalker and The Midnight Side, though sadly I've never been able to find The Other Side of Silence.
Anywho, The Midnight Side has been sitting on my shelf for a while (I didn't find it right away) mainly because it's been out of print! I love to recommend stuff but I hate to send readers into the frenzy of used bookstore track downs. But now, now, The Midnight Side is back and I made it my latest 2014 TBR Tackle title as a result.
Yes, folks, Mostert has rereleased The Midnight Side, Windwalker, and Season of the Witch and I highly recommend ALL OF THEM!
When Isa learns that her cousin Alette has died, she is shocked and surprised - she'd only just heard from Alette. The connection was bad, but Isa is certain she didn't imagine the phone call. But Isa is told that Alette died days prior to Isa's receiving the call. She flies to London for the reading of the will and finds that Alette had an odd last request. Alette says her ex husband ruined her life and now she wants revenge. A series of letters outlines what Isa is tasked with, but she isn't so certain of Alette's instructions. To act means ruining someone else's life but not to act would mean a betrayal of Isa's closest friend and relative. The cousins share a strong bond, though, one that cannot be broken by death alone and whenever Isa falters, Alette is there to push her along.
Mysticism plays a huge role in each of Mostert's books and here we have not only phone calls from the dead (Mostert's note on Thomas Edison's attempts to build a phone to call the dead was a particularly awesome piece of previously unknown to me history!) but we also have lucid dreaming and just a touch of Zulu mythology as well. Throw in an obsessive stalker and a murder mystery and you have a real win with The Midnight Side.
Every one of Mostert's books contains this creepy, gothic undertone with a wonderfully supporting atmosphere. She really takes the time and effort to build suspense through imagery and by building a quiet dread, which makes each of her books creepier than some of the most graphic horror. Here especially, with the chapters from the villain's perspective - cause you're always left wondering who it might be - knowing that Isa is being watched constantly and trying to use the clues given to figure out where the danger really lies, just ratchets up the suspense further in The Midnight Side.