Shadows Present, Shadows Past: A Ghost Story

J.H. Sanderson

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 178 Price: (paperback) $13.95 ISBN: 9780595398737 Reviewed: March, 2013 Author Website: Visit »

In this mostly fun ghostly tale, three sisters find romance, mystery, and things that go bump in the night when they inherit a neighbor’s house in their old hometown.

The inheritance comes at a particularly good time for the sisters, who live scattered around the country: Colleen has just weathered a bad divorce and is now a single mom; Leila’s husband is constantly away on business, leaving her with their baby; and youngest sister Erin had been thinking of transferring to a nearby college.

They soon find that the house has its own secrets as a ghost roams the house wreaking havoc. This is not the kindly Casper. This ghost is bent on revenge – and Colleen seems to be his target. Colleen, for her part, becomes dogged in her quest to understand what’s happening, even if it means jeopardizing her renewed relationship with her old high school beau.

The reader is required to suspend all disbelief (this is a story about a haunted house, after all!), even when everyone knows that the logical step for the sisters is to RUN. Instead, everyone accuses poor Colleen of being overwrought from her divorce, losing weight, growing jumpy, and barely sleeping. Says an old friend, “We think you’re letting your obsession about the house get to you far too much, Leila’s noted the change in you, and I have as well, even in the short time you’ve been here.” A ghost is causing mayhem and she’s the one with the problem?

The book could have used polishing – sentences are occasionally missing words – and most of the secondary action, such as the romantic conflicts, are more implausible than a vengeful ghost. Nevertheless, the book is a pleasant, easy-to-read diversion; the mystery at the heart of the haunting is solid; and if you’re a believer, you’ll find yourself checking under the bed when you finish the story.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Madison, New Hampshire
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