3 out of 4 stars
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The Flip is an enthralling thriller/horror novel which takes place in modern-day Long Island. The story is written in third person, with sections alternating between the current day characters and others dating back to the days of slavery. Author Michael Phillip Cash is no rookie to the supernatural genre, and his expertise is something I look for when choosing a ghost story.
Julie and Brad are married house flippers, determined to start their business opportunity out with slow but steady income opportunities. They find low-budget homes in desperate need of gutting and remodel to sell them for enough profit to move to the next project. The mansion on Bedlam Street seems too good to be true, but the pair sees it as an excellent opportunity to build their profits. Although the work seems manageable enough, Julie and Brad have no idea what they are getting themselves into with the beautiful Victorian’s haunting past. With the lingering presence of ghostly characters, this one is a page-turner through and through!
In all my reading experience, I have found that nothing compares to a good ghost story. The suspense for The Flip does not disappoint. The thrill and desperation showed by Julie and Brad is enough to question if the profit is even worth the terror- even though they find pieces in the home worth thousands of dollars! The personalities of the two main characters were portrayed as realistic, allowing the reader to know enough of a backstory to immediately like them. Julie seemed to be the most relatable to me, someone I felt I would actually enjoy being around. She’s passionate and bossy, but in a way that shows she works hard to achieve what she wants. Brad is loyal, and as hardworking as he is protective. The supernatural characters involved were also given an in-depth backstory, providing a clear insight as to why they still linger in the mansion, long after their time has passed.
The pacing of the story was sorted in a way that kept the suspense building, but excluding any unnecessary additives to slow the plot. Unlike some of Cash’s previous novels I have read, this one had more of a “clean” ending than I am used to with his work, which caught me off guard. It was a bit hard for me to accept the ending, as I am usually more fond of something twisted and dark. Because the suspense was built so high, I expected a totally different ending than what came along.
In comparison to the other novels I have read by this author, I can’t say this one has been my favorite. The story was well developed, but the ending almost seemed rushed, not living up to the rest of the suspense. I rate The Flip 3 out of 4 stars. Despite my complaints, I would still recommend this book to other readers who enjoy ghost stories. It still has the eerie feeling I always enjoy, but not as in-depth as others I have enjoyed more. It was also a fairly quick read, around 200 pages, which gives readers an opportunity to experience the story in one sitting.
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