Murky Victorian London. Thirteen-year-old Lizzie Blaylock has done her best to fill her absconding mother’s shoes, but her father is lazy and feckless, and her little sister is riddled with tuberculosis. When Lizzie has a fit at school, for which she is expelled, she and those around her slowly begin to realize that she may have special powers…powers to communicate with the dead.
‘Please!’ Miss Otis wailed. ‘Please! For the love of God, step back!’
And suddenly the man did. A murmur ran through the crowd.
‘Did you see that?’
‘It looked like a hand!’
‘No, not just a hand: an arm. I saw a whole arm!’
‘A young girl’s arm!’
‘Yes! Reaching right out of her! Out through the poor girl’s chest!’
‘You mustn’t touch her!’ Miss Otis screeched over the din. ‘She is a bridge! She is a bridge and people will cross!’
‘A bridge?’ murmured Lady Caroline slowly. ‘A bridge to the other side?’ Light dawned in the big woman’s eyes. ‘Billy,’ she whispered as she clawed her way out of her seat. And even as she dropped to her knees, something small and grey and shadowy was already rising out of my chest to greet her.
UK English edition
Cover photographs by Captain Console, Harris & Ewing, Inc, and whatsthatpicture
Cover design by Negative Negative
Published by Seventh Rainbow Publishing, London
About the Author
Michael Gallagher is the author of two series of novels set in Victorian times. “Send for Octavius Guy” chronicles the attempts of fourteen-year-old Gooseberry—reformed master pickpocket—to become a detective, aided and abetted by his ragtag bunch of friends. “The Involuntary Medium” follows the fortunes of young Lizzie Blaylock, a girl who can materialize the spirits of the dead, as she strives to come to terms with her unique gift.
For twenty-five years Michael taught adults with learning disabilities at Bede, a London-based charity that works with the local community. He now writes full time. Follow Octavius Guy @sendforOctavius. Author photo courtesy of Elaine Jeffs.