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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Gary could never have afforded a house like the one left to him by his estranged aunt. It was large, it came with a barn, a large plot of land, and a history none of them could have ever imagined. It was summer break, so Gary took his family there to complete the inventory, sell off the things worth parting with, and maybe, just maybe, repair some of their family bonds. But this house has a past, the land has a memory. Strange and eerie happenings start to occur, but they can be dismissed as the strange quirks of the house only for so long. But Gary seems happy, like he belongs, or at least like the person he is slowly becoming belongs. Can they realise the danger in time, what secrets did this house harbour, and why does their presence within disturb the people of the town? Find out in Scott A. Johnson's Shy Grove: A Ghost Story.
I loved the initial subtlety of Shy Grove: A Ghost Story, with easily dismissible events, stray thoughts, and bizarre happenings. The gradual change in Gary's personality is fascinating to observe and, as a reader, you do so with both fear and dread. Scott A. Johnson writes with fantastic skill to conjure up great atmosphere, tension, and concern for the characters. The gradual escalation is presented masterfully and the plot has a few surprises in store. You get a good feel for the characters, who they were, who they are, and who this place is forcing them to become. This is certainly one of the best ghost stories I've read this year. Once it has you in its thrall, you'll find it hard to tear yourself away.