Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Reading 2016 Stillwell: A Haunting on Long island


Fans of suspense movies or those who like a touch of the supernatural will enjoy this book. While set in the present, the story's characters and plot are intertwined with events set during the Revolutionary War. Paul Russo just lost his wife to a harrowing battle with cancer. As he tries to get life back to a "new normal" for himself and his three children, it seems that fate will not cooperate. His son is getting in trouble in school because he cannot control his emotions, especially his anger about his mother's death. His oldest daughter is barely eating. And his youngest daughter claims she is talking to her mother's ghost. Paul is having terrible dreams in which a demonic figure is carrying off his wife while she calls out to him for help. Everyone is having a difficult time.

Take all the issues at home and then add Paul's job. He is a successful realtor and the first big property he is asked to represent when he comes back to work is a family estate where the owners died in a homicide/suicide incident. Not the most propitious of fresh starts. It doesn't get any better when he begins to learn the history of the house and tales of it being haunted. Between not getting any sleep due to the nightmares, several unexplained occurrences at the estate, and the well-meaning idea from his sales partner to call in someone for a psychic cleansing, it seems that he has stepped into the Twilight Zone rather than anywhere near normal.

With help from friends and family, can Paul get a routine set up to meet the needs of his kids, handle the pressure at work (especially the spoiled nephew of the agency's owners who is trying to steal all the best listings), and figure out how to stop the nightmares? Are they really visions from his wife asking for help from the afterlife? And how does it all tie in to the sad history of the Stillwell estate?

In a quick read (under 200 pages), the author ratchets up the suspense, makes the grieving family believable, and mixes in ghosts and demons before wrapping things up. You will have to read it for yourself to see how he accomplishes all that. Due to its size, it makes the perfect book to pack for a weekend getaway or as a vacation read. 

I read an e-book provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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