The Darkness Surrounds Us

Gail Lukasik

CamCat Books, 2023

Agent: Jill Marr

A Ghostly Window Into the Past

Nurse Nellie Lester can’t escape death. Fleeing Chicago at the height of the 1918 Spanish flu, she takes a nursing job at a decrepit mansion on a desolate Michigan island, convinced the island holds the secret to her mother’s murky past. The only problem? Her dead mother seems to have followed her there. Nightly she’s haunted by a ghostly presence that appears in her bedroom. But is it her mother or something more sinister?

When the frozen body of the prior nurse is unearthed, Nellie suspects the nurse’s death and her family’s history are connected to a mysterious group that disappeared from the island twenty-four years earlier.

As winter closes in, past and present collide resurrecting a lurid killer, hell-bent on keeping the island’s secrets. Will Nellie uncover her mother’s shocking past before the killer enacts his final revenge?


"Moody and atmospheric, The Darkness Surrounds Us by Gail Lukasik is a taut gothic mystery with an intriguing twist. Her heroine, Nurse Nellie Lester, is resourceful and determined as she unravels old and new secrets in her search to make sense of her own past. Readers will enjoy the romantic undertones and the unrelenting suspense in this classically imagined tale." --Susanna Calkins, award-winning author of the Lucy Campion Mysteries and the Speakeasy Murders

"Lukasik delivers a gripping ghost story of pandemics past in this well-crafted gothic mystery. With unpredictable plotting and superior atmospherics, this is an early-autumn treat fit for late-night devouring." Publishers Weekly