The dark history and dire secrets of a peaceful small town are summoned from the shadows of the past. Unholy forces are stirred from long slumber to monstrous new life. And two young misfits discover the chilling art of turning persecution into retribution. With these eerie ingredients, bestselling master John Saul once again works his unique brand of sinister magic to conjure an unforgettable tale of unspeakable terror.
With more than 30 books under his belt, veteran suspense novelist Saul is back with a horror novel featuring witchcraft, teen revenge and a haunted house. Angel Sullivan, a plain-looking 14-year-old who never fits in, gets a chance for a fresh start when her family moves into the plush community of Roundtree. Myra, her obsessively religious mother, and Marty, her lazy, alcoholic father, buy a house on Black Creek Crossing, even though the place is rumored to be haunted. Soon after they settle in, a black cat mysteriously appears out of thin air, smoke from a nonexistent fire fills the house and a girl's face appears in the darkness, reflected in a mirror. Meanwhile, Angel, with the help of another school outcast, Seth Baker, begins to investigate the history of the house. They discover an ancient book of spells that may have belonged to the house's original owners, members of a Salem-like community of witches, and the teens proceed to cast spells on the bullies who torment them. But the sinister forces inhabiting the house are just biding their time until they turn their malice on Angel and Seth. Saul crafts a few passable scenes-the potions Angel and Seth concoct work in clever ways-but the chills are few and far between in this lackluster, paint-by-the-numbers horror tale. (Mar. 16) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 31, 2003
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Excerpt from Black Creek Crossing by John Saul
As the last bell of the day rang, angel sullivan sat quietly in her seat in the last row of Mr. English's room and waited for her classmates to disappear before she even started stowing her books in her backpack. Finally, when even the chatter in the corridor outside the room had died down, she stood up to pull on her jacket.
"You okay, Angel " the teacher asked, peering worriedly at her from behind his desk.
Okay she repeated silently to herself. How could she be okay after what had happened this morning And if Mr. English didn't know what was wrong, how was she going to explain it to him After all, it had happened right there during the first period, just before the bell sounded, when Mr. English asked the class if they wanted to sing "Happy Birthday" to her. "Happy Birthday," like it was still third grade! Didn't he know that none of her classmates even spoke to her except to say mean things So there she'd sat, in her seat in the last row, her face burning with embarrassment as a horrible silence fell over the room and half the class turned to stare at her. The only thing that saved her from bursting into tears of humiliation was that the bell had rung. Then everyone rushed for the door.
And now Mr. English wanted to know if she was okay
Biting her lip but saying nothing, she hurried toward the door and the safety of the corridor beyond, which with any luck would now be empty.
She heard Mr. English, but was already out of the room, the door swinging shut behind her.
Angel. What kind of name was Angel
For a long time-well, maybe not all that long, but for a while, anyway-she had thought it was a wonderful name, maybe the most wonderful name in the world. Even now, memories of phrases from when she was barely more than a baby echoed softly in her mind.