***** Compelling and Riveting Spirit Tale Review by Rox Burkey
Author Randy Overbeck knows how to raise the goosebumps from head to toe on the reader. Darrell Henshaw arrives at the new school set on the Chesapeake Bay to teach and coach the students. Darrell has a gift that manifested initially at 13; he sees and senses ghosts. Upon touring the school and his new office, Harriet Sinclair reveals that a young black man committed suicide many years before. When he felt the unworldly sensation, thoughts of outrunning his gift vanish as he learns more about the young man.
The suicide took place in the 60s at the height of civil rights unrest. The author adds in an event with Dr. M.L. King to help frame the times for readers. Young black boys and white girls were not permitted to have romantic involvement, but love can be blind.
He visits a medium, an interesting minor character who helps clarify his elusive visitor.
“Here in Wilshire, you have had a second encounter…vith another spirit.”
“This spirit is not someone known to you.” She squeezed his hands again. “I see…the essence of a young man…a large black youth.”
“Yes,” Darrell said again, no longer concerned with how she knew these things, only relieved she did.
“Tell me what you have encountered, and I vill interpret.”
So, there in the darkened apartment, wrapped in the aroma of vanilla and human perspiration, Darrell talked. In hushed, urgent tones, he told this sultry, exotic woman about the apparitions and about his visions and dreams of the ghost, while flickering candle flames made the shadows of their figures sway. Her hands never released their grip on his, but halfway through his narrative, her eyes returned to normal, and her intent gaze focused on his again. When he finished, the words spilling out of him like water from a burst dam, she said nothing at first.
This story takes readers on a journey thirty years in the past of thrills, chills, and coverups. No one in town wants to relive or remember the events of the past. The theme being let sleeping dogs lie. The characters, both primary and secondary, are distinctive and memorable as Darrell tries to uncover those who know the truth about Hank. As things start happening, someone clearly doesn’t want Darrell investigating the past.
There is an excellent romantic element with Erin, the fearless, helping Darrell and Pogo, the puppy, having a vital role in the outcome. The suspects are surprising even as the guilty parties go to great lengths to keep their secret dead.
Not only is Randy Overbeck an accomplished storyteller, but he takes this paranormal to the high-water mark. This story races along like a sailboat with perfect wind, cutting in suspense, surprise, and an unexpected yet satisfying ending. This book is recommended to lovers of thrilling paranormal and ghosts.
I look forward to more stories from this author. Thank you for the imagery that will not fade.
About the Author
Dr. Randy Overbeck is a veteran educator who has served children as a teacher, a college professor, and a school leader. During his more than three decades of experience, his responsibilities have ranged from senior prom advisor to the superintendent. He has lived the roles of many of the characters in his fiction. A tireless advocate for literacy instruction, Dr. Overbeck has won state and national awards for his work and has also served on numerous state and national educational boards.
An accomplished writer for more than two decades, he has been published in trade journals, professional texts, and newspapers. His first novel, LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND, published by Heroic Teacher Press, is a thriller about a terrorist takeover of a high school and the teacher who defeats the terrorists. The work earned rave reviews and was named the 2011 Silver Award for Thriller of the Year from ReadersFavorite.com. His latest work, BLOOD ON THE CHESAPEAKE, released in 2019, has also garnered five-star reviews and won a national award, the Gold Award from Literary Titan.
When he is not writing, Dr. Overbeck is often in demand as a speaker to groups, large and small. His speaking experiences run the gamut from delivering a keynote at a national conference to a participant in a federal policy debate on education. During the past several years, he has shared his tribute, “Teachers–the Real American Heroes” with more than 150 clubs and organizations, introducing audiences across the country to his first novel, LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND. Currently, Dr. Overbeck is sharing his newest presentation, “Things That Go Bump in the Night,” a fun and intriguing talk about the role of ghosts in our culture, and introducing audiences to his ghost story/mystery, BLOOD ON THE CHESAPEAKE.
A member of the Mystery Writers of America, he is an active member of the literary community, contributing to a writers’ critique group, serving as a mentor to emerging writers and participating in writing conferences such as Sleuthfest, Midwest Writers’ Workshop and Killer Nashville.
Dr. Overbeck is married to Cathy, his wife and partner for more than 40 years, and they have three grown children–settled in three different states across the country–as well as seven grandchildren, whom he loves to spoil. For him, time not devoted to writing and speaking is spent traveling to visit family and other favorite spots around the US.
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