“Equal parts engaging and creepy, this twisty tale deftly examines how secrets and regret can continue to reverberate through generations. A suspenseful story that examines how families haunt each other in life and death; possibly too creepy for late-night reading.” —Kirkus Reviews
Will Connor returns to his hometown, a village north of Boston, to care for his injured mother. He’s kept his distance from the town since high school, but once home he finds himself reexamining a horrific incident that took place during one of his mother’s “spirit circles.” His mother had embraced the hippie generation’s fascination with New Age and the arcane, but the unexpected death of a close friend put an end to the meetings of the modern-day coven.
Or did it?
As Will looks deeper into his family’s history he discovers that her practices weren’t so much a passing fad but the latest link in a long tradition of New England witchcraft, which still seems to hold a strange power over the town. Will hopes that unearthing the facts about the death will put his questions to rest, but there are those willing to resort to violence to keep those secrets buried.
College professor Will Connor, the hero of this enjoyable supernatural thriller from Olson (The Black Painting), reluctantly returns to his unnamed Massachusetts hometown to care for his injured mother, Abigail, who fell down some steps after arguing with a friend about "a dream of Will in peril." While there, he begins to look into the facts behind a terrifying incident from his childhood that took place one night at a meeting of Abigail's New Age "spirit circle," an experience that traumatized five-year-old Will and has haunted him ever since. As Will and his childhood friend Samantha Hall dig deeper, ominous connections begin to emerge involving old New England family secrets, a tradition of witchcraft, and a pattern of strange deaths among members of the spirit circle. While the book begins slowly as settings and characters are established, the pace picks up in the second half, culminating in a suitably dramatic climax. The paranormal elements are subtle, gradually creeping in around the edges with unsettling effect. Both mystery and weird fiction fans will be pleased.