cover image Haunted


Randy Wayne White. Putnam, $26.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-399-16976-2

In bestseller White's pedestrian third Hannah Smith thriller (after 2013's Deceived), Bunny Tupplemeyer, a Palm Beach socialite, hires Hannah, a Florida-based fishing guide who has taken over her uncle's PI business, to look into quasi-supernatural happenings in a house on a plot of land Tupplemeyer owns but needs to offload. Smith finds clues to what's going on in a Civil War%E2%80%93era journal of a great-great-uncle of hers she happens to be reading. White is at his best in the passages quoted from the journal, which are genuinely chilling. Once the action moves away from the ancient manse, though, it loses its way in the swampy, gator infested waters beyond. Like Tupplemeyer, other local residents also seem to be looking for something, including, but not limited to, buried Civil War treasures. The author doesn't seem too concerned about what the particular McGuffin of this story is, and questions hang unanswered in the novel's final pages. Author tour. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Aug.)