The Fallen
by Craig Conrad

"'There's always some truth to be found in all these myths,' Phoenix pointed out, 'religious or pagan.'"

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ashleigh Cruz helps her family with the conversion of the Cruz's old brewery into a commercial mall. Yet the property seems to be haunted. After the accidental death of her cousin Carlos Cruz, Ashleigh seeks out the services of Paul Rice. Rice is originally hired to cleanse the building of any spirits, but what he discovers seems to be something much more sinister in nature. With the help of Ashleigh's sister Natalee, the locals, and Rice's paranormal acquaintances, Rice uncovers a family curse dating back to the Spanish Inquisition and the deadly entities behind it.

Rice is a straightforward investigator, honest to a degree that others might mistake as harsh. Yet Rice's honesty, or ability to see the truth, is what helps him the most when navigating through the Cruz family's complicated, twisted path. In addition to helping to solve the case, he also seems to be assisting the Cruz women, Ashleigh and Natalee, to come to terms with the truth about themselves as well their roles in their family hardship.

This novel is the latest book in the author's series featuring Paul Rice, although prior knowledge of other works in the series is not needed. As a standalone ghosthunting and murder mystery story, Conrad's book layers various occult theories and religious history to create a unique cursed bloodline tale. The religious and occult aspects are seamlessly woven into the author's storyline, helping to reflect the complementary relationship between the two while also bringing the elements of horror and the supernatural to life.

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