Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island by Michael Phillip Cash

By Carrie Anne

Paul Russo's wife just died.  While trying to get his family's life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife's spirit hostage on the other side.  His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor.  Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife's soul free.  (from the back of the book)

With a subtitle 'A Haunting on Long Island,' I expected a true ghost story. What I found was a profoundly sad story of loss.  The descriptions of Allison's battle with cancer and how her death affected the family brought me to tears.  I can't imagine how a husband pulls himself together to be both mother and father to his kids.  How do you go on??

A realtor by trade, part of 'going on' for Paul is getting back to work.  He finds himself listing a so-called haunted house.  At the same time, he starts having dreams that his wife's spirit is in the grips of a demon, leaving her unable to move on.  Sure enough, the ghost in the home resembles his dead wife and we find out they were distant relatives.  Hannah (the ghost)  died a tragic death, and I expected the demon to be related to that part of the story.  No, we find the demon is something more, something unexpected.  Something sad.

As always, Cash's characters are easy to relate to and the story quickly draws you in. And, true to form, the story will linger long after you've finished.

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