Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Crossroads, by Chris Grabenstein

Zack sees ghosts all around him in NYC, including the ghost of his mother, who haunts his apartment. His dad's remarriage to a nice woman named Judy and their move to his dad's old hometown in Connecticut do nothing to relieve Zack of his contact with ghosts. A terrible bus accident 50 years ago has left the souls of the bus riders wandering the area. The malevolent ghost of the hot-rodder, Clint, who caused the accident, is trapped in the huge tree at the crossroads of Routes 13 and 31, on the edge of Zach's property. Gerda Spratling, Clint's fiancee, still mourns his passing and brings fresh roses to the the tree every Monday.

Zach's first friend in North Chester is Davy, himself a ghost, who is trying to free the spirits of the bus crash victims, although Zach doesn't realize that Davy is a ghost at first. Clint is determined to come back to life and to have his revenge on Zack, the descendant of his old nemesis, Zach's grandfather.

The chapters alternate between the characters' points of view and carry the action forward at a page-turning pace. As the relationship between Zack and his stepmother develops, it is a nice counterpoint to the spine-tingling suspense of the main plot. Definitely recommend this book to fans of ghost and mystery books. 2008

R. Rauch

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