Seduction

Publisher: Vintage Canada
During her decade in prison, Kate Fitzgerald has learned a few things. The best way to survive is to absorb yourself in your own world. Never make eye contact with your fellow inmates. And the last person you can trust is your prison psychiatrist – not only is he likely to be lazy and incompetent (really, why else wouldn’t he be getting rich off of well-heeled clients instead?) but if you complain about him you’re going to be labelled as a “permanent malcontent” and denied parole. So when Dr. Gardonne offers Kate a temporary absence and a job working for him, she only takes it because she knows that turning him down could be worse for her in the long run – counted in prison years, of course. But the real challenge is figuring out why he would choose her.

On the surface, it’s pretty clear. Kate has spent her incarceration immersing herself in the writings of Sigmund Freud, and has become a recognized expert on his work. Dr. Gardonne represents the members of a psychoanalytic organization that is being attacked at its core: Anders Konzak, the hand-picked director of the Freud academy, has been boasting to the media that his new research on Freud will bring the entire profession of psychoanalysis to its knees. He’s also been receiving death threats. And Kate, as an outsider, is the only one Konzak will talk to. Though she doesn’t trust Gardonne, Kate accepts his offer, and she races to uncover Konzak’s secrets before he publishes his work.

Never one to work well with others, Kate is less than thrilled to find out Gardonne has hired a private detective to be her partner. Jackie Lawton is a hardened ex-con who has spent most of his life in prison and only recently turned things around by starting his own business. From the moment the two meet, Kate sees that it won’t be easy working with a man who isn’t really interested in the intellectual battle at hand and who keeps her prison time at the forefront of every conversation. And can he really be trusted? When key players – who were all last seen with Kate – begin to turn up dead, there’s the very real possibility she’s being set up by Gardonne. After all, who would believe the word of a convict serving time for murdering her husband? All she can hope is that following the threads of Konzak’s research to his sources will keep her one step ahead of Gardonne and lead her to the real killer.

With Seduction, Catherine Gildiner gives us not only a gripping detective story full of shifting characters and fast-paced twists but a remarkable intellectual thriller. Through the letters and papers of Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin and the venerable Wedgwood family, Gildiner brings the personalities and ideological conflicts of the past to life in the present. Along the way we meet an assortment of characters, from social misfits to the demure but resolute Anna Freud, who is still living in the London house where she brought her ailing father for the last year of his life, and where she actively guards his legacy. The story takes us from Toronto to Vienna, London, the Isle of Wight, New York and back again to Toronto – each locale seen through the eyes of Kate, who relishes in the beauty of a world that has been denied to her for a decade.


From the Hardcover edition.

READ AN EXCERPT

PART 1: PEN PALS

Chapter 1: CELLULAR ACTIVITY

Look into the depths of your own soul and learn first to know yourself, then you will understand why this illness was bound to come upon you and perhaps you will thenceforth avoid falling ill.
—Freud, One of the Difficulties of...
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READING GUIDE

1. Discuss Kate’s role as the narrator of this story. What effect does her perspective have on your reading? How much do you trust her to be true to the facts?

2. Was Kate correct to suspect Dr. Gardonne’s motives right from the start? Or does “paranoia” play a part here? And if so, is...

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PRAISE FOR

“Very clever . . . definitely a cut above other thrillers.”
NOW (Toronto)

"There are enough twists, turns and identity shifts to keep you guessing... Like a dream, it makes you question what's real and imagined."
Time

"Seduction is smart and entertaining — brainy fun for a cold winter's night."
The Globe and Mail

"Book-review clichés come to mind: "I couldn't put it down," "compulsively readable," etc. Seduction is a fast-paced modern novel filled with snappy dialogue, exotic settings and juicy intellectual plums, somewhat in the manner of The Da Vinci Code."
Montreal Gazette

"A stylish suspenseful romp through psychoanalytical academia."
The Bay Street Bull

Seduction is certainly a romp, and the author’s pleasure in writing it comes across, a rare enough literary event. Her devotion to the subject matter is apparent.”
National Post

“A fast-paced intellectual thriller . . . Dr Gildner’s insights about the desires that motivate us will keep you hooked.”
Chatelaine

Seduction introduces crime fiction to literary mystery. . . . An addictive thriller that combines a crash course on Freudian theory with an old-fashioned detective story . . . Seduction is written with the kind of wit and intelligence reminiscent of another page-turner, The Da Vinci Code.
–The Hour (Montreal)

“A psychologically deep novel that combines two ex-cons, Anna Freud, and ambitious archivist and a zany catalogue of characters.”
Elle (Canada)

“A snappy pageturner of a debut.”
Ottawa Citizen

Praise for Too Close to the Falls:
“Memorably and skillfully told. . . Anyone who ever was, or has, a child considered different
in some way will enjoy this book.”
The Globe and Mail

“Richly detailed and absorbing, Too Close to the Falls has only one real fault. It ends too soon.”
Toronto Life

“A fascinating childhood is no guarantee of a fascinating memoir. It still takes a gifted writer to translate the past into a work of art, and Gildiner is a gifted writer.”
Toronto Star