Was browsing at the bookstore, saw the spine for this one, liked the title, noticed it was by Claire North who wrote a book I read and loved, took the book in my hand, loved the cover, flipped the book around and muttered the plot synopsis to myself:
"okay, so some doctor in South Africa, 1884, lets a kid die when he could have done something about it, and then he gets a curse put on him. the murdered boy's ghost haunts out flawed, weak doctor...and the ghost/shadow follows him wherever he goes...and if he catches up to him he enters the doctor's body, causing him to pass out, and then the shadow spirit strikes down a loved one of the cursed man."
That's probably more of a quickie description off the top of my head after reading the novel, rather than a totally accurate summary of what you get from the back cover; but I know it's close. What I didn't know is that it's a Spy novel/Dark Fantasy novel, because as the ghost moves closer and closer to the doctor, he becomes a "truth-sayer" - he will know more and more truths about those around him, their darkest secrets, the whole bit. The British Government - learning of cursed people like this - sees the benefits of putting such a person close to other governments' enemies. The trick is to suck up and report info to HQ quickly enough to move on before the shadow finally arrives, and a loved one dies.
It's a very mobile novel - for extra reasons than just any Spy novel. It's also haunting, and chilling, and practically perfect. I recommend it to Michael McDowell fans as much as I press it on fans of Espionage fiction. I absolutely loved everything about it, including, of course all the thoughts and feelings stirred in me, all the way through.