by Heather Graham

September 2003
ISBN: 1-55166-750-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

Matt Stone, owner of Melody House, a historic Virginia estate which dated back to the Revolutionary War and which is said to be haunted, is not at all happy. He’s a firm non-believer in ghosts, in spite of the fact that countless people claimed to have seen all kinds of ghosts wandering about in his home since time immemorial.

But lately one particular ghost is causing a lot of problems, and when more than one person is physically threatened in the Lee room, an unhappy and totally skeptical Matt is pressurized into bringing in the experts. He’s certain that if there is any mischief afoot, it’s of the human variety and not ghostly. But he still gives a call to Adam Harrison of Harrison Investigations, and soon paranormal investigator Darcy Tremayne arrives at Melody House.

Darcy Tremayne, who got her powers in a most mysterious manner, has accepted them and learned to use them, but she’s still not comfortable with the whole ghostly aspect of things. Matt’s unreserved disbelief in all things paranormal, his grating behavior and his no-nonsense attitude are all very irritating to her. But being a professional, she decides to ignore it all, and warns Matt that people are mostly inclined not to like the skeletons she finds. Little does Darcy know then, how prophetic her words would turn out to be.

In spite of this abrasive beginning, the two of them cannot totally conceal the attraction which flares between them. As Darcy opens herself to the other side, she discovers something so vastly sinister and deadly that even death cannot stop it. Will Darcy survive it all? Can Matt realize that on this earth not everything is black and white, and always explainable?

Heather Graham has outdone herself in this paranormal romance of hers, Haunted. The title, which is simple and apt, says it all. Take a haunted house, a skeptical hero and a psychic heroine, and you’re all set for a deliciously spine-chilling romantic story. Matt and Darcy couldn't have been more opposite – Matt believes everything in this world has a scientific explanation, but Darcy, with all her atypical experience, knows how totally false his assumption is. Even as they're re-hashing this eternal argument, the danger surrounding them increases in leaps and bounds until it grows deadly.

Graham, very accurately and very atmospherically, captures all the conflicting feelings – those of the dead, those of the living, and those in between. Melody House, with its rich and at times traumatic history, comes alive amid the pages of this ghostly book. The brooding dark atmosphere is chilling as well as greatly effective. Graham adds layer upon layer to the mystery which makes it difficult to solve, although dedicated mystery readers can fathom it out. The characterizations are vivid, the ambience is apt, the passion is searing and the danger is deadly - all these together make ‘Haunted’ a very exciting and worthwhile read. Although it's not for the faint of heart.

Reviewed in August 2003 by Rashmi.

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