cover image The Supernaturals

The Supernaturals

David L. Golemon. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $26.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-10523-3

Making a deadly haunted house scary proves too much of a challenge for Golemon in this listless debut of a series featuring a team of professional ghost-hunters, led by behavioral sciences professor Gabriel Kennedy. Kennedy’s reputation had been tarnished by the unexplained disappearance, in 2003, of one of his students, who was reported by eyewitnesses to have been pulled into a wall during an investigation at the Pocono Mountains mansion known as Summer Place. Summer Place was said to have inspired Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House; however, the allusions to that classic serve only to demonstrate the absence of subtlety and genuine chills in this book. Years after the student’s disappearance, the ambitious television producer of a paranormal reality show plans a live Halloween special at Summer Place and persuades Kennedy to participate. The academic recruits a predictably oddball group of allies, including a onetime leader of the Crips who had since become “one of the most gifted software designers in the world” and a woman possessed by the spirit of a dead musician. Weak writing doesn’t help this heap of clichés come together. (Oct.)