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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
John and Edith Hergraves were selfish, horrible people who never wanted children, but after twenty years of marriage they have a daughter, Eva. Eva was often mistreated, forced to spend hours entertaining herself while her parents ran their small newspaper, The Stratford Times in Connecticut. When Eva turns six she is reported kidnapped from the mall while the Hergraves are shopping. But her parents don't seem overly concerned, and barely mention it in their paper. A few years go by and they decide to sell the business, and move back home to Mingo, WV. Mary and Hank Schulz are unhappy with their jobs, so when they learn that the Times is for sale they decide to buy it. It isn't long until odd things start happening in the building, and Mary quickly comes to the conclusion that their building is haunted, and believes that the ghost is young Eva. Mary decides that the only way to get the haunting to stop is to figure out the mystery surrounding young Eva. When the Hergraves find out that she is poking around in what they consider their business, her life just might be in danger. Can Mary uncover the secrets without becoming a victim herself?
Mike Emmett certainly knows how to spin a ghost story! I found myself immersed in this story from the word go. While the reader is privy to the mistreatment of Eva it is interesting to see how the reporter in Mary figures things out. The paranormal element of the haunting adds an interesting layer to the mystery of Eva. It was easy to see that the author did plenty of research in the paranormal area of the story. I also learned quite a bit about how book publishing as well as the newspaper business worked. Another positive for me was that parts of the story take place in Mingo, WV. He accurately portrays the small town feel and gives the reader a glimpse of how money can influence justice in such small towns. It was interesting to see just how many people knew young Eva was abused but actually turned a blind eye to it. Overall, the author has the creepiness factor down in spades, but he also has the knack for creating interesting characters, a plot with suspense, mystery, and murder that move along at a brisk pace. I was impressed that he tied in an end of world slant adding another layer to the story. The author wraps up this ghostly tale just the way I hoped he would!