HauntedBook - 2009
Dee is feeding the chickens the morning that bones are discovered on the mountain. Something doesn’t feel right -- and her feeling is confirmed when local police show her a ring that they found with the bones, a ring belonging to Mary Ann Simpson, who disappeared four years earlier. Other girls, Dee learns, have disappeared too, unusual for a small town nestled in the shadow of the Bruce Peninsula’s rugged escarpment, the “mountain” that Dee loves.
Like her Gran, Dee has “the sight,” an ability not only to see spirits from the afterlife but also to experience their deaths -- a quality that becomes more horrifying as the story takes darker turns. While trying to help with the investigation, Dee is drawn into a deepening mystery that soon strikes terrifyingly close to home.
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When the bones of a young girl are found on the mountain, buried under the tree where she used to play, and four years after many believed that she had run away with her lover, shock and grief soon turn to suspicion.
For fourteen-year Dee Vale, an illegitimate child living her with her stern and unemotional Gran, the body’s discovery begins a dark and difficult period. Her Gran, whose help during childbirth and whose teas and potions are asked for and consumed by neighbours too poor to call upon Dr. Hughes, the local physician, is called a witch by these same neighbours and, as the police investigation stalls, is accused of murder. Her long-time friend, Billy, suddenly announces he supposes he’ll marry her, before taking up with Vivien, a sly and unpredictable girl whose family has moved into the abandoned house next door. As she and her friend Clooey begin their final year at the school at Price’s Corners, Dee starts to dream of the two of them continuing onto the high school in the nearby town of Wallen, and of one day becoming a nurse, though she knows her Gran expects her to remain at home. She makes friends with Clarence, a young soldier who has returned from the trenches missing parts of his mind and memories.
Gifted, or cursed, with the Sight and able from her earliest childhood to see ghosts, Dee becomes aware of the presence of a dark shadow up on the mountain, a shadow that seems to creep ever closer to her home, one that starts to stalk her. Gradually, Dee becomes aware that a number of young girls have disappeared from the area around Price’s Corners and Wallen during recent years. Her Gift allows Dee to read the resting place of one girl, and to relive the death of one of another, and she begins to realise that she might be the only person able to uncover the identity of the monster killing these young girls. As the community’s mood turns ugly, and vigilantes threaten to take justice into their own hands, Dee must take a difficult stand against her Gran, her friends and neighbours, and risk her own safety, to find and stop a murderer before he can kill again.
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