At once a murder mystery, a war novel and a moving investigation into what it is to be human.

by Craig Higginson
Picador Africa, 2023
(via The Lennon-Ritchie Agency)

Daniel Hawthorne is drawn to Zululand by the ghost of Sam Webster, a seventeen-year-old girl who went missing from her family’s luxury lodge and whose body was seen a week later on the Buffalo River.
As Daniel tries to get to the truth of what might have happened to Sam, he also starts to write the story of his disgraced ancestor, Lieutenant Charles Hawthorne, the notorious coward who was accused of three times abandoning his fellow men at the height of the conflict during the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879.
Nothing is as it seems, however. As Daniel gains access to the carefully concealed secrets of his ancestor and of the whole Webster family, the lines between betrayal and loyalty, love and hate, cowardice and moral courage become blurred. Written in Craig Higginson’s stark and indelible prose, THE GHOST OF SAM WEBSTER is a novel that plunges into the darkest recesses of human endeavour and emerges with an irrepressible humanity and hard-won hope.

Craig Higginson is an internationally acclaimed playwright and novelist. His plays have been performed and produced in many theatres and festivals around the world. His novels include Last Summer, The Landscape Painter, The Dream House and The White Room. Craig has won several national awards in South Africa and Britain for his writing.

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