Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Grave Artist by Paula Lynn Johnson

Book Blurb:
16-year-old Clare can't stop drawing the bizarre, winged skulls she calls "Sammies". Her psychiatrist assumes the compulsive drawings are just expressions of Clare's grief over her father abandoning her. But then Clare discovers that her Sammies are exact matches for the Death's Head on the grave of Samantha Forsythe, a teen who reportedly fell to her death over two centuries ago.

Before long, Clare's drawings morph into cryptic writings that urge her to uncover the truth behind Samantha's death. Together with Neil -- the friend she might be falling for -- Clare scours the local history for clues. She finds that, although Samantha was engaged to a wealthy landowner, there were whispered rumors of her involvement with a younger, biracial man.



Soon, Clare is haunted by disturbing dream images -- a mysterious eye, a broken chain -- that point to someone Samantha called her "Dearest". But who is Dearest? And why does Samantha need Clare to find him so badly?

Isolated and carrying hidden scars of her own, Clare fears her obsession with Samantha will threaten her sanity and safety. But it seems she has no choice in the matter . . .

The Grave Artist is a compelling paranormal murder mystery and a poignant story about loss and what it means thrive in a less-than-perfect reality.

My review:
This is a short book (only 200 pages) and a quick read, yet for all that it IS a complete and satisfying story. I feel like the blurb gives away a bit too much of the story here, but it is a well told, well written story of a teenager dealing with the divorce of her parents, and an obsession with drawing skulls. Only one person believes her and she's having a hard time. I really enjoyed this book. Not too spooky, but just spooky enough.

About the author:

Paula Lynn Johnson loves a good ghost story. She's a former English major and attorney living in central New Jersey with her husband, kids, cat, dog, and killer rabbit. She adores them all, even the killer rabbit.

Paula also loves a good laugh! You can read her short, humorous pieces on sites like The Big Jewel and Errant Parent, or on her blog, Twaddle Like a Duck.

When she's not writing, Paula sells antiques and art out of Lambertville, NJ. You can visit her online at Tiny's Lambertville.

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