It Began With a Lie
by Michele Pariza Wacek
Love-Based Publishing

"I think you don’t have the slightest idea who the real monsters even are in your life."

Lovers of ghost stories should relish Wacek’s paranormal tale. It opens with a discouraged Rebecca leaving her New York life to return to her former hometown of Redemption. Moving into her late aunt’s unwelcoming home, repressed memories are conjured up. At the same time, Rebecca carefully navigates a relationship with her stepdaughter, Chrissy, while her absent and distant husband, Stefan, deals with troubles at his law firm. Then supernatural occurrences twist Rebecca’s world, and she questions everything.

Troubled by nightmares and warnings from the beyond, Rebecca reluctantly turns to old friends for help, such as Daniel, now a police officer. They all remember her as “Becca,” and despite her efforts to ignore the past, she needs to remember what she can’t. She’s wary of everything that happens in the town and in her own home. The more supernatural events that occur, the more Rebecca searches for answers, and reality slips from her until she discovers shocking truths.

On the surface, Wacek employs all the devices of a standard haunted-house story full of ghosts and supernatural possessions. But her principal plot is also entangled with a mystery, family secrets, and a character study of a woman reconciling with her past that unveils before her eyes. Wacek’s ambitious story is made more complex with layers of subplots that subtly build up the overall suspense. It’s also clear she has a devilishly good time writing this with such descriptions that jump out from the narrative like, “…cold tentacles of fear delicately stroked my spine.” The different storylines working together make sense, since not all is fully resolved, and this is the first of a planned series of books. As you read, waiting to see what happens next, you may be surprised by how it ends.

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