In 1927 Peter Duvett accepts a job as an assistant to Vienna Linn, an esteemed photographer, in the remote town of Churchill, Manitoba. He does not know that across Canada Vienna has been arranging the dynamiting of trains in order to photograph the "accidents" for a mysterious private collector.After a strenous journey, Peter arrives on the very night of his employer's wedding - only to be seduced by Vienna's brilliant and beautiful wife, Kala Murie. Between Vienna's makeshift darkroom and Kala's bedside, in the months that follow, Peter is drawn deeper and deeper into love with Kala, and into her obsession with "spirit pictures", photographs in which the faces of the long-dead mysteriously appear during the process of development. One night Peter finds himself a co-conspirator, when he comes to understand that Vienna has himself orchestrated a chance to photograph the human soul. This photograph, taken at the sight of a plane crash, will continue to haunt him to the last page of this remarkable story.
'Howard Norman's The Haunting of L. is his bet work yet, a novel of romantic suspense which grips our attention and touches our hearts. Through Mr. Norman's extraordinary gift of listening to the past, these voices speak again, photographs light up and move, lives driven by spiritual as much as by earthly passions are recovered and redeemed' Thomas Pynchon
Howard Norman is the author of several novels, including The Museum Guard and The Haunting of L., both published by Picador. He lives with his family in Vermont.