After the last book that promised to be thrilling and suspenseful let me down (Creatures of the Night), I hesitantly began another spine chilling novel. This one, though, did not let me down. In fact, I couldn't put the book down and was delightfully satisfied with this novel.
Joel, his sister Cassie, and his mother have just moved into a creepy torn-up house with his soon-to-be stepfather and two stepbrothers (Damon and Tim). Joel doesn't mind the transition, he kind of likes the boys. Cassie, on the other hand, fights it with all her might, blaming strange occurrences on Damon when he claims to be innocent. Joel, though, isn't convinced that Damon or Cassie had anything to do with some odd things that happen at the new house. He's having hallucinations involving blood and nightmares about being chased throughout the house. To make matters worse, Tim also has these dreams and when Joel gets trapped in a cupboard after the same thing happened to Tim and feels an icy hand gripping his leg, he begins to think that they're not alone in this new home. Soon the four kids are convinced that ghosts live among them; ghosts that are desperate for something to happen. They then struggle to survive and discover the truth behind the house they moved into.
It's been a while since I've read a truly suspenseful novel and I think that this novel fit the bill. The book had a steady flow of suspense from what Joel will see when he senses a presence to the creepy chanting of a prayer in a moment of fear and the threat when the ghosts make contact. The ultimate climax was fast paced and visually dynamic as the storm rages inside and the pieces fall into place. While the novel doesn't have an "Oh my gosh!" surprise, it does offer a few revelations that make you wonder why you didn't think of that before. My only complaint, if I have to give one, is that I had a hard time picturing the kids in the book. There was a comment in the second chapter where it is implied that Joel's family is black and the step family isn't, but to me the characters were almost faceless. I had no real sense of their age. Did this hurt the novel? Not really but it might have helped a little bit more.
I enjoyed the novel. It was a quick read, steadily paced thrills, and just an overall great read. I wasn't let down in my expectations of suspense.