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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Where Death Speaks is a horror novel written by Ronnie Stich. Richard Ravestone has been fascinated by the occult from the moment he first peered into the occult and parapsychology section of the public library as a young boy. He still gets that forbidden thrill when he researches the occult, but now he writes fact-based thrillers which have become very popular. Lately, however, he's been plagued by horrific dreams of ghosts who aren't really ghosts, and scenes from the past with the sounds of ritual chanting as a gruesome accompaniment. It's gotten to the point that he's terrified of going to sleep, so the invitation by Dr. Miller Anson, a parapsychologist based in San Antonio, to work with Simon, a gifted psychic, is a welcome distraction. Simon turns out to be a surly and unpleasant drunk whose insults and abuse make Richard wonder if he should book a flight back home to the West Coast and forget about the research possibilities, but, as Simon wryly insinuates, Richard will not be leaving San Antonio any time soon.
Blend the occult with quantum physics and base the plot in San Antonio, the most haunted city in the US, and you end up with the recipe for an exciting, original and very scary story. This is exactly what Ronnie Stich has done in her stylish and frightening occult thriller, Where Death Speaks. I loved the nightmare scenes and enjoyed reading about the growing friendship between Simon, Richard, the Italian scientist and occult investigator, Raul, and Claire, the police officer who's been investigating the bizarre murder of a young woman. The San Antonio setting for this story is inspired and really amps up the occult flavor, building to a marvelous crescendo at the end. The quantum physics concept of alternate states, and the resulting disruption of the balance of multiple worlds, is a brilliant and welcome change from the zombie and post-apocalyptic monstrosities that seem to infest so many modern horror stories. I had a marvelous time reading Where Death Speaks. It kept me turning the pages late at night, which is, after all, the perfect time to read a scary story about impossibly real nightmares. Where Death Speaks is most highly recommended.