A Wicked Thing

Fiction - Paranormal
364 Pages
Reviewed on 04/09/2013
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

"A Wicked Thing" is set in the town of St. Martins in New Brunswick on the shores of Fundy Bay. The bay is ever-present, washing in and out in tides throughout the action in this paranormal thriller. Gwen and Stephen Burns have lived there all their lives and are at home with the tides. Gwen is sensitive to spirits, which she sees in the mist that comes in off the water. The Burns are realtors and own the two Victorians that perch besides theirs on the sands. One is rented to Kaitlyn, a young nurse who is escaping a bad marriage and the other, which was vacant and in need of maintenance, is let to Jonathan, a lost soul whose loss of his wife and two sons has left him in a stupor. He wakes up on the beach with no knowledge of who or where he is, and an elderly gentleman sends him on to Gwen. He settles into the vacant house, once owned by Mary McLaughlin, who Gwen claims haunts it. Meanwhile, Gwen's brother, a policeman, is involved in a manhunt for a sadistic killer.

Michael Kasenow's "A Wicked Thing" is a lovely and haunting novel that lingers in your mind long after you have read the last few lines. There is action and thrills enough to keep the most jaded reader involved, but there is also lyrical, descriptive prose that you'll want to read out loud -- and then read again. There is a compelling ghost story entwined with a crime thriller, and both are set against the timeless backdrop of the water and the wilderness. This is a truly amazing piece of literature, and one that I am very glad to have read.

Ty Mall

"A Wicked Thing" by Michael Kasenow is about a tortured soul named Jonathan MacAlister. His wife and two boys died in an accident, and he moves to a seaside town to start over. Drama seems to follow him everywhere. For instance, his neighbors tell him his house was once lived in by Mary McLaughlin, a heartbroken woman who haunts the house. He starts seeing Mary in his dreams. Unusual murders happen, both because of the methods used, and who the victims are. All of these things annoy Jonathan’s beautiful neighbor Kaitlin, who stays interested in pursuing a relationship despite his quirks. Jonathan doesn’t know why him or why now, but what he finds out means more to him than he ever imagined.

This book grabbed my interest early on and pulled me in. I found it difficult to stop reading. There were things I figured out early on, or thought I did, and some that I didn’t. I thought the words of old man Ian rang true: “People belong somewhere, but they think everywhere else is a better deal.” In the end, I think that is really the point of this entire book. I enjoyed the Canadian locations and historical elements in the story, because they made me feel unsure about which parts were fiction, and which weren’t. The scenes between Jonathan and Mary are well done, and made both characters worth caring about. A great book, but don’t start it before going to bed.

Maria Beltran

"A Wicked Thing" is set in a haunted Victorian house that was originally built in the 1850's by Captain Johnny Mac for his sweetheart, Mary McLaughlin. When Jonathan McAlister arrives here centuries later, she is believed to still haunt the house. Jonathan himself has just lost his family in an accident and is trying to reconstruct his life. Tara Walsh, on the other hand, is a notorious serial killer convicted of murdering her husband and is declared insane. Housed in a mental institution, she manages to escape. Unknown to many, these three characters have something in common and when their paths meet, an unlikely triangle unravels that will become part of St. Martin's lore and legend.

Poetic and lyrical, Michael Kasenow's "A Wicked Thing" is a beautiful read. The characters are well-developed so that as I read the novel, they seem to become vivid and real. I would say that the novel's strength lies in its plot development. The story also has an interesting array of characters. As an award winning author of a collection of poems, "Six Feet Down", Michael Kasenow's choice of words in the description of the places and the people in this narrative produces a beautiful prose that is expressive and entertaining. This novel is a paranormal thriller that mixes madness and murder in such a way that it is both a gripping and exciting read. It is one of those rare books that have to be finished in one sitting.

Rebecca McLeod

New Brunswick is a place of haunting beauty with several faces that she shows to her visitors. The spectacular Bay of Fundy is bluer than Caitlyn’s eyes; the mist hides the ghosts and legends out of Gwen’s tales, and the Bay can kill you just as quickly as Tara, the escaped serial killer now prowling the coast. Jonathan doesn’t even remember how he arrived in New Brunswick, but he is glad to start his carpentry again and eat lobster caught afresh from the bay. The Victorian-era houses need plenty of work and it looks as though he could be happy here, especially with the romantic advances from his neighbor Caitlyn. Something is amiss, though, and as the mist gathers around his house one night, he learns just what and who has been waiting for him.

The plot is very complex and so you’ll want to read slowly and carefully. The lavish descriptive passages deserve attention simply for their beauty; the plot and dialogue need attention so that you don’t miss a beat and end up confused. The murders are grisly, so sensitive readers will want to be mindful of that (perhaps not the best thing to read before bed if you have an overactive imagination). On some level, "A Wicked Thing" appears stuffed with red herrings so that much of the additional information could be left out to create a sleeker, faster-paced novel. Still a good read, especially if you are planning on visiting the coast!

Kathryn Bennett

"A Wicked Thing" by Michael Kasenow is an interesting book that introduces us to Jonathan MacAlister, a man who has recovered from a family tragedy only to discover that a beautiful serial killer and an angelic spirit are competing for whether he lives or dies.

My first thought of Michael Kasenow's "A Wicked Thing" is that I love the cover. I know you should never judge a book by its cover but an attractive cover is always a bonus for me because it tells me a little something about the story and I like pretty art. Once I got into reading the book I was in for a treat. Michael Kasenow has really crafted something that immerses you into the characters' world fully and completely. Jonathan MacAlister is just the kind of character I am usually drawn to; he has had tragedy in his life and yet he continues on. He essentially does what so many of us do in real life: pull up your boot straps and keep on. Of course just when he thinks things might be on the up swing for him he finds out about the battle for his life or death, and frankly that would throw anyone for a loop. The descriptions and the prose that Michael Kasenow uses for "A Wicked Thing" are impressive and serve to add to the plot he has created. The story is unique and a little bit spellbinding. Once I started reading this one I really could not set it down until I was finished. I don't mind being late with dinner when I am in the middle of a fantastic story. Anyone who enjoys a good story with a fantastic cast will enjoy "A Wicked Thing".