A comically sinister tale of wicked spirits and suburban mediums from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring Up the Bodies'. Alison Hart, a medium by trade, tours the dormitory towns of London's orbital ring road with her flint-hearted sidekick, Colette, passing on messages from beloved dead ancestors. But behind her plump, smiling persona hides a desperate woman: she knows the terrors the next life holds but must conceal them from her wide-eyed clients. At the same time she is plagued by spirits from her own past, who infiltrate her body and home, becoming stronger and nastier the more she resists... Shortlisted for the Orange Prize, Hilary Mantel's supremely suspenseful novel is a masterpiece of dark humour and even darker secrets.
Shortlisted for Orange Prize 2006.
'Laceratingly observant, a masterpiece of wit, heavy with atmosphere. It is also gloriously insolent and slyly funny: full of robust, uncluttered prose and searing moments.' Independent 'Pins elusive middle England to the page in all its creepiness: a place blank and disconnected, yet fatally self-absorbing' Rachel Cooke, Observer 'An elegant, atmospheric tale and a nuanced portrait full of ironies.' Tatler 'Beyond Black is chilling, creepy and endlessly inventive.' Kate Saunders, The Times 'Hilary Mantel has done something extraordinary. She has taken the ethereal halfway house between heaven and hell, between the living and the dead and nailed it on the page.' Fay Weldon, Guardian 'A deep, disturbing, violently amusing and subversive work, testimony to the formidable strength of Mantel's imagination, which splits the human world so convincingly between the forces of good and evil. It is Mantel's compassion for the ordinary people who line and die in such unlovely places that illuminates this dark book and creates its black lustre." Ruth Scurr, Daily Telegraph
Hilary Mantel is one of our most important living writers. She is the author of eleven books, including 'A Place of Greater Safety', 'Giving Up the Ghost' and, most recently, 'Beyond Black', which was shortlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize.