Amazing, ANOTHER book release! My poltergeist thriller The Unseen comes out in the UK today, with probably my favorite cover ever. It actually gave me a bad nightmare, and I almost never have nightmares.
The Unseen is a spooky thriller that crosses mystery and the supernatural, with some romance, too, this time. Yes, my genre identity issues are alive and well in this one.
The story is based on the real-life, world-famous ESP experiments conducted by Dr. J.B. Rhine at the Duke University parapsychology lab: the first dedicated parapsychology lab in the U.S., founded in the late 1920’s.
Most people are aware of Dr. Rhine’s ESP studies with Zener cards.
Not so many people know that in the 1960’s Duke researchers also conducted field studies of poltergeists.
Poltergeists! I've always been fascinated by them. I mean, what even are they?
In my fictional story, a young psychology professor from California experiences a precognitive dream that shatters her engagement and changes her life forever. Determined to make a fresh start,, she decides to take a professorship in the Duke psychology department, and soon becomes obsessed with the long-sealed files of the parapsychology lab, which attempted to prove whether ESP really exists.
Along with a charismatic male colleague, she discovers a file on a controversial poltergeist experiment which may have been the cause of the lab’s closing. The two professors team up to take two psychically gifted students into an abandoned Southern mansion to replicate the experiment.
What they don't know is that the entire original research team ended up insane… or dead.
This story percolated in me for a long time (I've been pretty much obsessed with the idea of ESP testing since I was seven or eight years old), and I was able to do some very cool research for this one, including ghost hunts and a stay in a seriously haunted mansion that I used as the model for my poltergeist house. I'm going to talk about all of that more this week... in the meantime you can read an excerpt on my website, or just order it from Amazon UK.
"Sokoloff keeps her story enticingly ambiguous, never clarifying until the climax whether the unfolding weirdness might be the result of the investigators' psychic sensitivities or the mischievous handiwork of a human villain."
- Publisher's Weekly
"This spine-tingling story has every indication of becoming a horror classic... a chillingly dark look into the unknown."
- Romantic Times Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars
"Alexandra Sokoloff takes the horror genre to new heights."
- Charlotte Examiner
"Sokoloff has provided a new and interesting twist to the genre, one that will stay with the reader long after the book has been read… the hair on the back of my neck may never lie down."
"One of the better books I've read this year... sure to please readers with the most discerning taste."
- Fear Zone