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Walk of the Spirits    by Richie Tankersley Cusick Amazon.com order for
Walk of the Spirits
by Richie Tankersley Cusick
Order:  USA  Can
Puffin, 2008 (2008)
Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

When I was younger, I loved teen horror novels. They were usually not terribly scary (though some were), but they were always full of suspense with the heroine (or sometimes hero) running for her life at some point to escape either a madman or something worse. Some of the books I read were by Richie Tanskersley Cusick, and I remember them being good and scary, so I was interested in her new novel, Walk of the Spirits. Expecting something close to what she wrote in the early to mid-nineties, I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that her newest writing has taken a more gothic turn.

Forced by a hurricane to move away from her friends in Florida, Miranda Barnes finds herself attending her last year of high school in the small Louisiana town of St. Yvette. Miranda and her mother are staying in a garage apartment behind her aunt and grandfather's house, but her mother will not let her meet her grandfather, or even speak of him. It is at school while working on a group project that she learns that her grandfather was considered the town crazy. During her only meeting with her grandfather before he dies, Miranda learns the truth to his eccentricity he can speak with ghosts. She also learns that the gift is being passed on to her, and as much as she hates it, she is now the only one who can help the spirits of St. Yvette.

Cusick has created a solid modern gothic in Walk of the Spirits. The atmosphere is haunting and desolate. The heroine finds intrigue and danger while learning who to trust. And the whole story hinges on a tale of unrequited love. While it may not be as scary as her earlier books, Richie Tankersley Cusick's Walk of the Spirits is full of mystery and suspense, along with a few ghosts.

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