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The Demons' Door: A Haunted Mystery

Review

The Demons' Door: A Haunted Mystery

Twelve-year-old Zack, who first appeared in the spooky suspense novel THE CROSSROADS, is back and hoping to have some time away from ghosts. Zack’s house burned down at the end of his last adventure, and he thinks that means he’s now away from all the spirits that haunted the abode. But he soon realizes how wrong he is when he meets the spirit of notorious criminal Mad Dog Murphy while eating his breakfast at the local hotel.

Luckily, he and his stepmother, Judy, are scheduled to oversee the play of one of her books at an old small town theater, the Hanging Hill Playhouse. But he’s still hearing and seeing strange things at that historic location in Chatham, Connecticut. Just who is that ghostly young woman juggling on the stairs? 

Misery loves company, and Zack is thrilled to learn that someone else sees the ghosts: the famous child actress Meghan McKenna, who is starring in the new play. Together, the two explore the old theater, seeing ghosts in hallways, stairways and in the basement. A lot of scary activity is taking place --- and not all of it is from ghosts. Humans can be just as menacing (Grimes, the director, is particularly fierce).

Little by little, Zack and Meghan begin to figure out what is going on and why the director of the play is so strange. But many seek to stop them --- and some want to sacrifice them. Adding to Zack’s dilemma is the discovery of the spirit of a deceased family member. It’s hard enough dealing with ghosts of people he doesn’t know, so facing one he does seems downright impossible. And after Zack sees Mad Dog Murphy again, this time at Hanging Hill, he begins to seriously wonder what is going on. The spirits are definitely gathering, and Zack knows he and Meghan need to stop whatever it is they’re up to.

Anthony Award–winning author Chris Grabenstein uses experience in New York theater for details in this dramatic story, along with humor, suspense and plenty of scary paranormal happenings to keep the action moving quickly. Zack, the reluctant hero, is appealing and smart, and readers will be looking forward to his next adventure.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on August 24, 2010

The Demons' Door: A Haunted Mystery
by Chris Grabenstein