Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Haunting Classic

And the countdown to Halloween continues!

Ruth Bennett is a 40-ish widow who recently inherited a historic home in Georgetown.  Her niece, Sara, is staying with her while attending college.  Sara seems like a typical teenager until she starts sleepwalking - and worse.  Is the problem physical, psychological, or supernatural?  Could it be possession, and if so, by what or whom?  Sara's boyfriend and her anthropology professor, who is captivated by Ruth, rally round to help solve the mystery.

Ammie Come Home by Barbara Michaels is cleverly plotted and chillingly suspenseful, but its true charm is the interaction between the four main characters.  They are realistic and likable, and the main reason I've worn out two paperback copies of the book and bought all of the sequels.  Fortunately, it's still available from Amazon and other booksellers.

Other books about the supernatural by Barbara Michaels that you might enjoy:
  • The Dark on the Other Side - Michael has been hired to write the biography of Gordon Randolph, a man who has everything except a happy marriage.  What has driven his wife Linda to drink, and what is the "black dog" she fears?
  • House of Many Shadows - Meg thinks the visions she sees in her cousin's country house are lingering hallucinations caused by her head injury, until the caretaker starts seeing them, too.
  • Wait for What Will Come - Is Carla Tregallas the reincarnation of her ancestor Caroline, and will the merpeople who had supposedly taken Caroline's life come for her, too?
Like the novel I discussed yesterday, these books and Ms. Michaels's other works rely on suggestion rather than overt violence for their effects, and very effective they are, too.

"There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.~Alfred Hitchcock

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