4 out of 4 stars
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Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island by Michael Phillip Cash is a paranormal themed novel which was published in 2013. As the author of several other successful books involving paranormal activities, Cash proves to have a lot to offer. At under 150 pages, this was a short and enjoyable read, one that could be easily read in a single sitting.
The main character in the story is Paul Russo, a father of three and a recent widow. Losing his wife to a brain tumor at a young age was the hardest thing Paul could ever imagine having to endure, but that was nothing compared to the distress that came along with trying to fight the demon holding his wife’s soul hostage. This novel starts off with showing the depths of Paul’s grief from losing his wife. The sadness that is expressed feels so real and raw, making for an emotional ride to learn more about the family. Along with attempting to help his beloved wife, Paul is trying to make ends meet financially by going back to his real estate job.
When a multi-million-dollar listing, known as Stillwell, lands on Paul’s desk, he knows he shouldn’t pass it up. However, as bad as he needs the money, Paul has a bad feeling about the home that is said to be haunted. Hearing the stories is one thing, but when Paul starts to witness strange happenings for himself, he can’t seem to clear his mind of the negative energy that surrounds the new listing. Paul soon finds out that in order to set his wife’s soul free from the monster that is holding her, he must find out what happened at the Stillwell home more than two hundred years ago.
The secondary characters in the story consisted mainly of Paul’s children, family, and co-workers. All the characters in the story were expressed with believable personalities, and each were developed in their own way. Paul was immediately a likeable character, and although he doesn’t want everyone’s sympathy, it was easy to feel sorry for his character. Paul proves time and time again how he was a great husband, and continues to be an impeccable father to his children. Along with Paul, I found that I really liked the character of Lisa, Paul’s sister. Lisa does everything she can to help Paul’s family with adjusting to their new lives. She tackles school assignments with the kids, and she’s continuously there for Paul as a shoulder to lean on.
The writing style of Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island was quick-paced and smooth, exactly what is needed for a short novel of this genre. I have always been a fan of paranormal stories, and my favorites are always the ghost stories. Stillwell did not disappoint with holding my interest and keeping the scare factor engaged. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars and would gladly recommend it to others who enjoy reading ghost stories. I am happy to report that I found no editing errors along the way, which made for a smooth read. As with most stories in the paranormal genre, there are some sections that would not be appropriate for young readers.
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