Browse Authors:

Susan Howatch books in order

Susan Howatch, born Susan Strut, is a British author of goth and historical fiction novels.

Born in 1940 in Surrey, England, she graduated with a law degree from King's College before proceeding to work as a secretary.

In 1964, she moved to the U.S, where she married American writer and sculptor, Joseph Howatch.

She had a daughter and launched her writing career with the Gothic novel The Dark Shore (1965), which was received well.

A decade later, Howatch left the US for the Republic of Ireland after separating from her husband, before permanently moving back to England.

She has throughout her near-forty-year career written several standalones and series, with the latter being Starbridge, Van Zale, and St. Benet's Trilogy.

An Honorary Fellow of King's College, London, and the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Hope College, Howatch currently lives in Surrey, England.

More about Susan Howatch

Genres: Goth, Historical Fiction, Sagas

Born: 1940

United Kingdom

Non Series

  • The Dark Shore (1965)
  • The Waiting Sands (1966)
  • Call in the Night (1967)
  • The Devil On Lammas Night (1970)
  • Penmarric (1971)
  • April's Grave (1973)
  • Cashelmara (1974)
  • The Shrouded Walls (1974)
  • The Wheel of Fortune (1984)

Omnibus Books

  1. The Shrouded Walls / April's Grave / The Devil on Lammas Night (2006)
  2. The Dark Shore, The Waiting Sands, and Call in the Night: Susan Howatch Omnibus (1965)

St. Benet's Trilogy

  1. The Wonder Worker (1997)
  2. The High Flyer (1999)
  3. The Heartbreaker (2003)


  1. Glittering Images (1987)
  2. Glamorous Powers (1988)
  3. Ultimate Prizes (1989)
  4. Scandalous Risks (1990)
  5. Mystical Paths (1992)
  6. Absolute Truths (1995)

Van Zale

  1. The Rich Are Different (1977)
  2. Sins of the Fathers (1980)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Dark Shore

When millionaire Jon Turner returns to Britain to marry for a second time, he returns with several other intentions.

First to make peace with his son, Justin. But also, to the dismay of his new wife Sarah, to return to the house he shared with his first wife, Sophia—the house in which she died mysteriously ten years earlier. Was it an accident, as Jon claims, that befell Sophia that weekend in Cornwall?

Sarah realizes too late that Jon has reunited everyone who was present that stormy night when she died. And in this nightmarish replay of the deadly events, Sarah has been given Sophia’s role…

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1965
ISBN: 978-0751533101
Publisher: Little Brown UK
The Waiting Sands

“Dearest Raye…I’ m writing to ask if you can possibly come to Ruthven for a few days. My twenty–first birthday falls next Sunday…I would feel much less frightened if you were beside me until after midnight on Saturday.”

Dependable Rachel Lord hasn’t heard from her school friend Decima Mannering for over two years when, out of the blue, she is invited to Ruthven, the fairytale Scottish castle her friend will inherit on her coming of age. Her arrival is met with relief by Decima, who is convinced her husband Charles means her harm.

Is Decima in her right mind? Or is Rachel being duped by her worldlier friend? As the eve of Decima’s twenty–first birthday approaches, a shocking event leaves Rachel with no doubt.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1966
ISBN: 978-0751533118
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Call in the Night

From half way around the world, American Clare Sullivan obeys a desperate summons from her glamorous sister Gina and flies to Paris. But when she arrives, there’s no sign of Gina. Her sister’s trail leads Claire to London and to Garth Cooper, a boyfriend of Gina’s, who seems to have a secret to hide. As time passes, Claire begins to understand that Gina’s disappearance is not just another one of her sister’s melodramatic stunts.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1967
ISBN: 978-0751533125
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
The Devil On Lammas Night

Miss Howatch's Wales-based coven is cosy indeed; the attendants of that oddly magnetic young man, Tristan Poole, are middle-aged and anxious to please, although they're apt to foul up their assignments.

The group inhabits the Court of Walter Colwyn under the guise of a natural foods society. Poole is pretty much in control of Walter and the assorted relatives that flock in for one reason or another.

There are two murders by possessed animals, a drugged bride and a Lammas whoopla is underway when a child sends Poole's possessor off in a puff of brimstone. Just the right breezy tone for this kind of amusement which zips along like the Old Harry.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1970
Ebook: B002C6IW0K
Publisher: Fawcett

Overlooking the bleak cliffs of Cornwall is Penmarric, the ancestral home of Mark Castallack. The stunning gothic manor is the picture of English nobility, wealth, and comfort. But as the twentieth century unfolds, those behind Penmarric’s towering walls face nothing short of disaster. As Mark and his children struggle to save their home and their aristocratic way of life, they must engage in a bitter fight against greed, ambition, betrayal, and even murder.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1971
ISBN: 978-0751535341
Publisher: Time Warner Books
April's Grave

Karen Bennett had fled to New York. She was trying to forget her marriage to Neville. Forget that she had discovered his affair with her twin sister, April.

Now three years later and still in love with her husband, she was suddenly reminded of it all. Including the fact that April had not been heard from since that dreadful day. What had happened to her? Had she really run away as everyone believed? Or had she met with a more sinister ending? Many people had reason to hate April.

Karen, determined to find out the truth, went back to Neville, to their vacation home in Scotland which held such dear and desperate memories. And it was here that Karen uncovered reasons to suspect the unthinkable--that Neville had murdered April...

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1973
ISBN: 978-0449232354
Publisher: Fawcett

There were two subjects which lonely widower Edward de Salis never discussed: his dead wife and his family home in Ireland, 'matchless Cashelmara'.

So when he meets Marguerite, a bright young American with whom he can talk freely about both, he is able to love again and takes her back to Ireland as his wife. But Marguerite soon discovers that married life is not what she expected, and that she has married into a troubled family bitterly divided by love and hatred.

Cashelmara becomes the curse of three generations as they play out their fates in a spellbinding drama, which moves inexorably towards murder and retribution.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1974
ISBN: 978-0751535358
Publisher: Time Warner Books
The Shrouded Walls

'We were seventeen when our parents died...Alexander and I did not realize at first that we were destitute. It was Sir Charles Stowell, a friend of my father's who finally told us the my father's fortunes and estates, including even the town house in London where we had lived all our lives with our mother, had reverted to my father's wife in Manchester. My father had been much too gay and carefree to bother to make a will to provide for his mistress and the twins she had borne him...'

When her parents die in a road accident, Marianne, illegitimate daughter of a French émigré and an English gentleman, loses her home and all her worldly goods. She faces life as a governess until she meets Axel Branson, a man who must marry within the year in order to inherit his father's wealth. Marianne grabs at the chance of a respectable marriage.

A remote house in the Kent Marshes is now her home. But distrust of her husband and fear of the house seem to roll in as steadily as the sea mist...

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1974
ISBN: 978-0812814408
Publisher: UNKNO
The Wheel of Fortune

Tucked in the hills of South Wales is Oxmoon, the ancestral estate of the Godwin family. In the summers before 1914, music streams through the family home as the Godwins, at the height of their prosperity, dance in the ballroom with their guests.

But despite the remarkable talents of heir-apparent Robert Godwin, the fates have a rough, tough ride planned for him and those he loves. 

Fortunes shift during two world wars, disastrous love affairs leave the family battered, and finally jealousy threatens to destroy Oxmoon and all it symbolizes.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1984
ISBN: 978-1451683660
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Omnibus Books

The Shrouded Walls / April's Grave / The Devil on Lammas Night

Three books of murder and mystery.

The Shrouded Walls

When her parents die in a car accident, Marianne loses her home and all her worldly goods. She faces life as a governess, until she meets Axel Branson. A lonely house in the Kent Marshes is now her home. But distrust of her husband and fear of the house seem to roll in as steadily as the sea mist... 

April's Grave

Three years after they parted, Karen and Neville decide to resume their life together, returning to the isolated Highland croft where April, Karen's sister, had shattered their marriage. Since then, the selfish and beautiful April has vanished…

The Devil on Lammas Night

When Tristan Poole moved to a remote Welsh seaside village, what was he planning? Nicola Morrison suspects foul play, particularly when sudden illnesses, accidents, and death shatter the peace…

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0751537963
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
The Dark Shore, The Waiting Sands, and Call in the Night: Susan Howatch Omnibus

The Dark Shore

Was it an accident that befell Sophia, millionaire Jon Tower’s first wife, that weekend in Cornwell? Sarah Hamilton—on her honeymoon with Jon—finds dreams of a bright future turning into a nightmare replay of those mysterious events 10 years before that led to Sophia’s death.

The Waiting Sands

Out of the blue, dependable Rachael Lord is invited to Ruthven—a fairy tale Scottish castle—and the inheritance, on coming of age, of her friend Decima. A 21st birthday celebration is planned although the atmosphere is anything but festive.

Call in the Night

From halfway round the world Clare Sullivan obeys a desperate summons from her glamorous sister Gina and flies to Paris. But once arrived, there is no Gina. Her trail leads to Garth Cooper—a boyfriend of Gina’s—who seems to have a terrible secret to hide. What sinister reason could explain Gina’s disappearance?

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1965
ISBN: 978-0751535129
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group

St. Benet's Trilogy

The Wonder Worker

Young, lonely, and insecure, Alice Fletcher is on the verge of emotional collapse when she stumbles into St. Benet's Church to dodge the London drizzle. There, she witnesses a group of gifted healers led by the charismatic Nicholas Darrow. Gaining refuge at last, Alice is drawn--inexorably, seductively--into the complex network of relationships at St. Benet's healing center--as she falls immediately, dangerously, in love with Darrow himself.

Yet Darrow and his cutting-edge clergy are not all what they seem. And while Nicholas's dazzling powers now threaten to ruin all he attempts to save--including his own disturbed marriage--Alice's devotion to him deepens. Then a devastating tragedy transports her to the shocking center of truth. Yet fueled by her love for Nicholas and a boldly emerging intuition, she will hold together the lives spinning wildly out of control--as she herself is transformed forever.

NB: This book is also known as A Question of Integrity.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1997
ISBN: 978-0449001509
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The High Flyer

Successful London lawyer Carter Graham has power, sex appeal, and a well-ordered life. Everything has gone according to plan, including her recent marriage to Kim Betz, an investment banker with the right combination of looks and position.

On the surface it appears to be a match made in heaven. The only problem is Kim’s ex-wife. Sophie begins to follow Carter like a shadow, making outrageous claims about Kim’s involvement in the occult.

Convincing herself that Sophie is mad, Carter moves ahead with her life. But something is amiss–and as Sophie’s stories are corroborated by other unwelcome disclosures from Kim’s past, Carter is thrown into a terrifying web of suspicion and betrayal, pushing her sanity to the edge. In desperation, Carter seeks help from Nicholas Darrow, the charismatic priest of St. Benet’s Healing Center.

Though a religious skeptic, Carter hopes to stem the tide of darkness that threatens to envelop her life–and begins a compelling journey into the very nature of good and evil, wisdom and redemption...

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-0345439482
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Heartbreaker

The financial heart of London—the City—is an adrenaline-charged square mile deep in recession in the 1990s, a place where sex is just another commodity to be bought and sold in the marketplace. And the City is where the life of Gavin Blake, who sells sex to high flyers, is finally about to unravel.

In the center of the City is St. Benet’s, a church that ministers to the casualties of this affluent but amoral society. Carta Graham, the St. Benet’s fundraiser, is at once attracted to Gavin when they meet through a mutual friend, but slowly she realizes that she has entered a relationship far more complex than she could ever have imagined.

Gavin is desperate to escape from his world of prostitution, pornography and violence, but as his involvement with Carta and St. Benet’s deepens, the dangers that encircle him escalate until his life itself is on the line. Carta is determined to help him—but will their mysterious journey together be lifesaving or soul-destroying? All she can do is fight her hardest to help Gavin survive.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-0345466280
Publisher: Ballantine Books


Glittering Images

It is the 1930s, and Charles Ashworth is dispatched by the Archbishop of Canterbury to learn the truth about the flamboyant Bishop of Starbridge, Adam Alexander Jardine, and his mousy wife. Do Jardine's outspoken denouncements of the Anglican Church's strict divorce laws have a personal motive?

When he meets the cool and beautiful Lyle Christie, Mrs. Jardine's companion, Ashworth believes they do. But as he struggles to understand the strange relationships in the household, Ashworth ceases to be an innocent, objective observer.

Slowly, he too is drawn into the secret drama that is being played out in the shadow of the cathedral, a drama that he could never have foreseen.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1987
ISBN: 978-0449909805
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Glamorous Powers

The time is 1940. Jonathan Darrow is an Anglican priest when he receives a shattering vision and knows he must leave the monastery that has been his home for seventeen years. As he plunges into the temptations of the real world, a crisis sends him into the labyrinth of his past to pluck out the buried truth beneath the deceptions he has been living through.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1988
ISBN: 978-0006496922
Publisher: Harper Collins
Ultimate Prizes

The third in Susan Howatch's Church of England novels, ULTIMATE PRIZES begins in 1942 with the world at war, as narrator and archdeacon Nevill Aysgarth finds himself falling into a hopeless obsession over Dido Tallent, beautiful celebrity, and finds himself pursuing her through a swamp of guilt and the destruction of his valued moral compass....

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1989
ISBN: 978-0006496915
Publisher: Harper Collins
Scandalous Risks

This book takes us to the English town of Starbridge, home to a great medieval cathedral and the religious, political, and sexual intrigues that whirl around it. It is into this charged atmosphere—in the already overheated 1960s—that a young woman searching for meaning in her life, and an older man prominent in the Church, begin moving inexorably toward emotional collision.

As Venetia Flaxton edges closer to the threshold of a love affair with Neville Aysgarth, who is Dean of the Cathedral and old enough to be her father, his hidden emotional past and her moral conflict in the present lead them deeper and deeper into the mysteries of the human heart and soul. Here is a powerful and moving novel of good and evil, resolve and temptation, hope and despair.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1990
ISBN: 978-0006496908
Publisher: Harper Collins
Mystical Paths

Nicholas Darrow is a strong-willed and independent-minded man, full of the energy and assurance of his age and his moment in time—he is twenty-five in 1968. A magnet for attention and attraction, Nicholas is already beset by a troubled past, and expert at ignoring the grip it has on his life. But as he follows his father into the Anglican priesthood, his fascination with his own psychic powers results near-tragedy. It will only be by facing the truth about his relationship with his father that Nicholas can find his way out of the seemingly impenetrable darkness that engulfs him. . . .

Told with all the drama, intelligence, and emotional depth we have come to expect from Susan Howatch, Mystical Paths is a breathtaking novel about the powerful, often painful, but finally indestructible ties between parent and child. And like its four highly praised predecessors in the Church of England series, it is a novel that celebrates the redeeming power of self-knowledge and faith.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1992
ISBN: 978-0007664153
Publisher: Harper Collins
Absolute Truths

It is 1965, and Charles Ashworth has attained the plum position of bishop of Starbridge, an honor that keeps him in a heady whirl of activity that would exhaust the most seasoned corporate executive. With the invaluable support of his minions and his attractive, unsinkable wife, Ashworth stands against the amorality and decadence of the age--"Anti-Sex Ashworth." He slays his opponents by being a tough, efficient, confident churchman, the torments of his past long since dead and buried.

And then the unexpected, the unthinkable, strikes.

Suddenly Ashworth finds himself staring into the chasm of all the lies he's been telling himself for years: about his marriage, his children, even his views on the Church. And as he suspects his old nemesis and dean, Neville Aysgarth, of drinking too much, of financial chicanery, of--God forbid--having an affair, Ashworth discovers to his horror that he is tempted to commit the very acts that he has so publicly denounced...

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1995
Ebook: B004E9UB84
Publisher: Fawcett

Van Zale

The Rich Are Different

During the Roaring Twenties, Paul Van Zale is the undisputed king of the financial industry, an influential man of great wealth, unparalleled power, enormous ego, and insatiable appetites. He’s also exactly what Dinah Slade is looking for: a millionaire susceptible to seduction who can rescue her endangered ancestral estate and make her dream of creating her own business empire come true.

All it takes is one look at the intoxicating young Englishwoman—“delivered” in secret to his London office—and all thoughts of his wife and other mistresses are instantly banished from Van Zale’s mind. But their ensuing love affair has repercussions that will shake the foundations of the banking tycoon’s Wall Street firm, especially when his dynamic, impulsive right-hand man also falls victim to Dinah’s vibrant sensuality.

Perhaps graver still is her effect on Van Zale’s family, among whom greed, rage, and jealousy are prime motivating factors. And as the boom of the twenties gives way to the despair of the Great Depression, everything threatens to come tumbling down in an avalanche of treachery and murder.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1977
ISBN: 978-1476738444
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sins of the Fathers

Among the Wall Street elite, no name inspires as much awe and envy as Van Zale. The family’s sprawling banking empire, run by the determined and talented Cornelius Van Zale, is thriving. Their lifestyle, glittering and luxurious, is the epitome of the American Dream. But behind the gilded perfection of their public persona, the Van Zales hide dark secrets: a world of complicated affairs, bitter rivalries, dangerous alliances, and grasping corruption.

Vicky Van Zale, caught between the maneuverings of her father, Cornelius, and the ambitions of her husband and lover, finds herself a pawn in a vicious battle for control. And they’re all willing to pay any price to win—no matter how deadly.

Author: Susan Howatch
First Release: 1980
ISBN: 978-1451683653
Publisher: Simon & Schuster