Chapter Thirteen by Maria A Palace
Chapter Thirteen is a paranormal mystery set in Morganville, Pennsylvania.
College student Katy was involved in a car accident which killed her boyfriend; left devasted, she then discovered that she was pregnant. After the opening chapters the main story was set five years after the accident. Katy had moved to Morganville with her daughter, where Katy was a news reporter and single parent. Given the story of the old Brewer mansion demolition to report on, instead Katy created a campaign to save the historical home and its owner.
In addition, Katy had been having nightmares, visions and flash backs, which seemed to be related to the Brewer mansion and its owner. The more that Katy discovered about the history of the place the more she became involved in the mystery which evolved, which led to an eerie denouement.
I liked the paranormal element and the theories about reincarnation, which were the highlights of the story for me. Katy was harder to empathise with, not helped by instances of childish behaviour and shouty dialogue which I felt were unrealistic; I wanted to get to really know her and I only ever felt we saw a superficial picture. I also thought that five-year-old Lily’s dialogue leant too much towards adult speech; however I did like Mike, the fireman.
The story jogged along at a fair pace, but at times a bit of information dumping slipped in which made me want to skip ahead to more interesting parts. I particularly liked the name of the town, but I am aware of a popular book series set in a similarly named town which has been a great success; I kept expecting a vampire or two to pop up in this story, especially with the paranormal theme which both tales share.
Overall, while I liked the paranormal aspect of this story, the main character fell short for me, plus with a few other niggles, the book didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
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Chapter Thirteen is a paranormal suspense/thriller about an old woman who will do everything in her power to reclaim the life that was taken from her and the young journalist who holds the key to her success or failure.
On April 13, 1936, in Morganville, Pennsylvania, a fire occurs at the well-known Brewer mansion, resulting in a mysterious death. Fast-forward to August 28, 2005: After attending school in New York for six years, Katy Barton returns to her hometown of Morganville, when she lands a job as a reporter for the local news station. The antiquated mansion is scheduled to be demolished and Katy is assigned to get a story from the reclusive old woman who still lives there.
Katy is a “survivor” or so she’s been told, although years of therapy have not reconciled her with her own tragic past, to which she has long since been plagued by nightmares. Each time she goes out to the estate, her nightmares are amplified by unexplained visions. When she finally meets the eccentric recluse, Evelyn, she finds that her early portrait bears an uncanny resemblance to her own high school graduation picture–and the more she learns of Evelyn’s past, the more she finds that it is eerily similar to hers. As Katy is lured deeper and deeper into the old woman’s mysterious world, she begins to question her sanity, to the point where she seeks out a hypnotherapist.
In an odd twist of fate, a handsome firefighter comes to her emotional rescue, spiraling her into a whirlwind romance that appears too good to be true. Hoping to resolve her issues, both past and present, Katy reluctantly undergoes hypnosis, where she is confronted with the truth from her past and ultimately, what could be her future. But is the life she sees her own, or is it Evelyn’s?
Darn, sounded like a great premise!