Mostert, Natasha

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Mostert, Natasha

PERSONAL:

Married; husband's name Frederick. Education: Attended college. Hobbies and other interests: Kickboxing.

ADDRESSES:

Home—London, England.

CAREER:

Previously worked selling shoes, teaching Afrikaans at a South African university, and as a project coordinator in the publishing department of a public television station in New York, NY.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

The Midnight Side, W. Morrow (New York, NY), 2001.

The Other Side of Silence, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 2001.

Windwalker, Tom Doherty Associates (New York, NY), 2005.

Season of the Witch, Dutton (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Natasha Mostert writes psychological thrillers featuring the mystical or supernatural. "My interest in mysticism started in early childhood when I was growing up in South Africa," the author stated on her MySpace Web page. "My aia (nanny) was a Zulu woman who introduced me to African legends and the world of the insangoma (witch doctors). For many years I thought she was the coolest person on the planet and tried to emulate her in every way."

In her first novel, The Midnight Side, the author features a ghost who manipulates the stock exchange. The story begins when Isa DeWitt receives a phone call from her cousin Alette only to later discover that Alette died two days earlier. It turns out that Alette, who was a psychic, knew beforehand that someone was intent on murdering her. Isa then receives three envelopes from Alette as part of her estate. The envelopes contain directions to fulfill a final request, that is, destroy a pharmaceutical company owned by Alette's ex-husband. As Isa follows out Alette's wishes by leaking information that damages the company's stock, she soon learns more about Alette and her killer. Referring to the novel as an "auspicious debut thriller," a Publishers Weekly contributor went on to note the author's "solid prose and chilling premise."

Mostert's next novel, The Other Side of Silence, revolves around a computer game called the Angel's Key, which has music that seems to make users addicted to the game. However, one of the music's creators has a sinister purpose. In her third novel, Windwalker, the author features Justine, a photographer who becomes a caretaker at an old mansion. There is something about the house and the last family that lived there that fascinates Justine. As she begins photographing the house, she finds that her photographs contain ghostly images. Justine also has the feeling that she is being stalked. Eventually, she is contacted by Adam, who has dreamed about Justine but never met her until he saw her picture in a magazine and is astounded to find that she is staying in his old family home. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that Windwalker is "an adept mix of suspense, romance and the supernatural."

In her 2007 novel, Season of the Witch, Mostert tells the story of Gabriel Blackstone, a hacker who once worked solving crimes as a "remote viewer" at a company called Eyestorm. When an ex-lover's stepson, Robert, goes missing, Gabriel tries to track him down and is soon under the spell of two sisters, Minnaloushe and Morrighan Monk, who are witches. Gabriel thinks one of the sisters murdered Robert but he has also fallen in love with the one whose diary he accessed by hacking into the sisters' computer. The only problem is that the diary is marked as being written by "M," and Gabriel cannot determine which sister is the "M" of the diary. "Mostert's prose is very well-crafted, creating a vivid ride for the reader while still leaving plenty of mystery," wrote Ricki Marking-Camuto on the BookLoons Web site. A Publishes Weekly contributor called Season of the Witch a "spellbinding tale of magic and seduction." Several reviewers also commented on the author's ability to develop character. For example, writing on the Gather Web site, Janelle Martin noted that, in the early parts of the book, the protagonist "is little more than a cardboard character, the stereotypical action hero brashly confident of his own abilities." However, the reviewer added: "Instead of being repulsed by this, readers should persist with the story for Mostert slowly peels away the layers to show Gabriel as a flawed human, hiding within a shell of arrogance and superiority."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Marie Claire, May, 2007, review of Season of the Witch, p. 127.

Publishers Weekly, November 6, 2000, review of The Midnight Side, p. 70; March 28, 2005, review of Windwalker, p. 63; February 19, 2007, review of Season of the Witch, p. 147.

ONLINE

BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (December 2, 2007), Ricki Marking-Camuto, review of Season of the Witch.

Gather,http://www.gather.com/ (June 10, 2007), Janelle Martin, review of Season of the Witch.

Natasha Mostert Home Page,http://www.natashamostert.com (December 2, 2007),

Natasha Mostert MySpace Web Page,http://www.myspace.com/ (December 2, 2007).

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Mostert, Natasha

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