Author: Diane Patterson
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Described on the cover as a prequel to the Drusilla Thorne mysteries, this ghost story, not a paranormal tale by any means, reminded me of how twisted humans could get.
There isn’t much back story about Drusilla here. All we know is that she and her half sister, Stevie, are running away from something, forced to change identities and appearances and turn their backs on their old lives each time they are confronted by another life threatening situation.
They have done this very often before, but with this identity, that of Drusilla Thorne, whose first person account this is, the story suggests that it is the first of a series.
The sisters rent a small apartment in San Antonio, Texas. The rent is cheap because there is a ghost haunting the premises. The truth of the ghost is actually far more serious and scary and Drusilla gets to the bottom of it. The mystery is resolved but the drama continues.
It is a short and quick read, but you don’t really get to know ether Drusilla or Stevie as characters, because Drusilla is so cagey. There is a hint of an interesting back story related to Stevie, but the whiff passes and the focus shifts again to the ghost.
The owner of the apartment is a woman, Hannah Burton, who lives with her 17-year-old daughter, Cissy, and 12-year-old son Dominic. Hannah is in the process of finalizing her divorce with Pete, a former army vet, a man with anger issues and a vicious temper who is not prepared to let go of his family.
Brandon Smith is the previous owner of the property who continues to visit the property by virtue of being the handyman and gardener. Brandon’s daughter, Patricia, had hanged herself in the very apartment which Drusilla and Stevie have rented, and it is her ghost that is supposed to be making noises and walking around.
Once the denouement starts, events get quickly out of hand, and before long, Drusilla and Stevie need to be on the run again, afraid of something, running away from the harm of the law, even when they have done nothing wrong.
I liked the character of Drusilla. She was frank and forthright and she drove the action onward. Unfortunately, you don’t get a good opportunity to get to know her. She gives us tantalizing hints of an exciting back story but the details don’t come out. All you know about her is that her actual name is Trudy and that Stevie is Svetlana but that is a detail that is mentioned in passing and never referred to again. We also learn that Drusilla is very protective of Stevie and that they’ve been on the run for ten years.
What does come out in this book is the Burton family dynamic, Pete’s insane jealousy, Hannah’s feelings of helplessness and Dominic’s insecurity.
I can’t say I was disappointed, but I wish this one had more going for it.