Ghostly Tidewater Trilogy

Fiction - Supernatural
91 Pages
Reviewed on 05/22/2012
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lorraine Carey for Readers' Favorite

"Ghostly Tidewater Trilogy" is a compilation of ghostly encounters that will leave you with thrills and chills! The spirits here are all willing to reappear, each to fulfill a different course of fate. These tales are centered around a small waterside area community. Could it be the water that lures the spirit to remain forever trapped due to its ability to hold energy patterns? Here we find a famous John Wilkes Booth’s restless spirit coming forth to search for his beloved horse intertwined with a murder mystery. We also have a sculptor who is summoned by a paranormal force to create a sculpture in honor of a local witch only to uncover some dark secrets that still linger in the actual town of Leonardtown. The final selection is full of dark passion where a man is infused with supernatural power where he tries to rape and torture a young coed who is the only one who can see and endure his encounters. A very different spirit encounter will amaze you at how it will come to the aid of this young woman.

Katharine Russell knows how to spin one heck of a tale. The diversity of each plot is brilliant. She paints each scene so vividly that you can just feel yourself there among the ever present mystical force of the Other Side. Each tale is unpredictable and leaves a twist for the reader. This trilogy will appeal to a vast audience as it is an easy read and just has the perfect length. Just as you finish one chilling tale you are served up another!

Brenda C.

"Ghostly Tidewater Trilogy" by Kath Russell is a compilation of three hauntingly good short stories. In 'The Ghost of John Wilkes Booth' Hayden Bashford is a retired journalist who has been staying in a tiny town where local lore has it that John Wilkes Booth's spirit has been sited, some say looking for his shoe, others say looking for his horse which was buried in the area. When a local land developer purchases a historical homestead the town's historical society looks for a way to stop him, and when an extinct osprey is spotted on the land they think they have found it. When the developer winds up dead and they find horseshoes in the hole in which he fell, we wonder whether he had stumbled upon the grave of the long buried horse. But more than that, it becomes a who-dun-it as to what happens to the land developer. In 'Ghost of a Smile' Corliss Griffith has been commissioned by the town of Leonardstown to create a statue of Moll Dyer, an alleged witch who lived in the 1690's. A local religious leader doesn't want her to do it, so when strange things start happening, we ask, who is behind it, the locals who were against the statue or is it the spirit of Moll Dyer? In 'The Ghost of Lyon Lodge' we meet Chelsea Hughes, a college student who has been harassed by Dobbs Marshall since high school. He is from a wealthy family and has a way of turning things around so that people don't believe Chelsea. When he takes things too far will it take an otherworldly presence to save her?

I found each story a quick but satisfying read. Often with a short story it is hard to get a real sense of the characters but Kath Russell creates well-developed characters that bring each story to life. While there is a ghostly presence in each story they really are secondary to the actual plot of each story. Instead I found myself caught up in the dramas she created around each character. While I enjoyed each story my favorite easily was 'A Ghost of a Smile'. Its plot just captured my attention and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. Corliss was a character that was easy to relate to, and her problems from divorce to raising a teen, as well as her trust issues seemed very realistic. I always enjoy when animals are included in a story and we meet Toby, an adopted German Shepherd as well as a mysterious white dog. Overall a very quick read that left me wanting more. Fans of short stories including a bit of mystery and suspense and a supernatural twist will certainly want to check this book out!

Vered E

"Ghostly Tidewater Trilogy" is a collection of three short stories, all of which take place in small towns in Maryland. Each town has a legend of some haunting spectre and a very alive protagonist trying to get by. In the first story, 'The Ghost of John Wilkes Booth', John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln’s assassin, keeps returning to find his horse while a young writer is caught up in local politics to protect the shoreline from a greedy developer. "Ghost of a Smile" highlights Moll Dyer, a woman who dies one winter night after witch hunters burn her home to the ground, and an artist fears her home might meet the same fate. Another spirit floats around a college campus while one of the students struggles to escape the dark attention of a stalker in "The Ghost of Lyon Lodge'.

Each of these stories has a few things in common: a haunted town; a protagonist who searches for justice and comes across a ghost in the process; and an assortment of characters who each has his own or her own motivations that interweave to create tense plots and mysteries. Kath Russel’s writing style is engaging and attractive.

Molly E.

Born in Maryland and raised in Virginia, I am always looking for books that take place in those areas. Being a fan of Ghost Hunters, and anything eerily ghost filled, I love reading books about ghosts. So, my pleasure was in reading this book filled with 3 short stories taking place in the Tidewater area. I truly got the best of both worlds in this book. Kath Russell is a wonderfully talented author and really hooked me from the first story and didn't let me go until the last page. I was instantly blown away with the mysteriousness and spookiness of the John Wilkes Boothe story. With a picture captured, and a journalist intent on saving the buildings from ruin, this story is filled with a twist that you can feel right down to your bones. I have never really followed up on the John Wilkes Booth case, but watching 'Ghost Hunters', and having my son go to Ford's Theater, well, I get my lesson in Booth's crime. This story just adds to the learning experience in a ghostly way. Russell captured the essence of a ghostly witch in the second story, about Moll Dyer. A statue is being sculpted in honor of the town witch, and the townsfolk aren't welcoming that prospect at all. Is it the sculptor or has Moll Dyer returned to give the town a spook fest? This is a twisty story that will give you a surprise ending! The third story is a literal learning experience...a ghost on the grounds of a college. While this one was well-written and definitely mysterious,the ghost is more of a back burner thought. I didn't really enjoy this one as well, but it still didn't take away from the essence of the overall book.

I definitely recommend this to all readers out there who love ghost stories! They are fast reads, and will hook you instantly. By the end of the book, you'll have chills running down your spine and wish you had more awesomely chilling stories to dive back into. Great job, Ms. Russell!

Alice D.

There are many stories and movies out in today's marketplace that scare their willing audiences, but the three ghost stories in "Ghostly Tidewater Triology" are truly mind boggling. They are the real thing. In the first story, 'The Ghost of John Wilkes Booth', a developer, Frasier Dutton, has bought the last old farm on the eastern shore of Allen's Fresh Run and plans to bulldoze the farm house and outbuildings to build McMansions. Then there are night sitings of a man standing in a boat with one riding boot missing. Could this be the ghost of Lincoln's assassin who is looking for the bay mare he loved riding? In 'Ghost of a Smile', sculptor Corliss Griffith is attempting to create a statue of the local witch, Moll Dyer, who lived in a hut in the local woods back in the 1690's. But one thing after another seems to go wrong with Corliss' creation. And, lastly, in 'The Ghost of Lyon Lodge', Darla and Chelsea have been friends for years but Darla is constantly followed by Dobbs Marshall, son of a wealthy Tidewater family. Can the sightings of a light in the window where Captain Sol once sat help Darla escape Dobb's unwanted attention?

"The Ghostly Tidewater Triology" is comprised of three highly well-written, well-edited ghost stories of the Tidewater Virginia area. No vampires, no werewolves, no aliens, just ghosts of the past and unanswered questions at the end of each story that make them superb reading. The characters, worldly and otherwise, in each of these stories are well-created and totally believable and Author Kath Russell deserves kudos for writing these three memorable stories. "Ghostly Tidewater Triology" belongs on everyone's reading list, especially on nights when the fog moves in, playing games with the reader's eyes.