THE NINTH FLOOR: LIZ SCHULTE
“Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory, perception and sanity. Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term “gaslighting” comes from the play Gas Light and its film adaptations. The term is now also used in clinical and research literature.” Could that be what is happening to the patients of St. Michael’s Hospital? Why would mentioning the ninth floor and wondering why it is closed, sealed and locked down result in any employee of the hospital terminated? Why would some patients hear voices, see ghosts and think someone was calling them in the middle of the night? The staff, public and administrators won’t talk about it because you never know what could happen if they do. What happened in 1984 that remains behind more than just closed and locked doors? Why doesn’t the elevator even stop at nine?
Ryan Sterling promised she would never return to her hometown. Alienated from her parents, sent to boarding school and not really a part of her family when her Aunt Bee needs a liver transplant she agrees to return. St. Michael’s hospital is where she spends time with her aunt and a young doctor named Jack who seems to enamored with her. But, noises from within the walls, her aunt’s roommate mysteriously dies after claiming she hears voices and that the hospital is haunted, a nurse falls down a flight or stairs and this is just the beginning. Rumors often are just that but Ryan has been receiving some strange packages, which leads her to believe that there is much more to what is happening within this town and the hospital. But, there is much more as we meet a man named Aiden who appears to be visiting someone at the hospital but is he? Added in we meet Vivian her an old friend who seems bent on helping her get her new apartment habitable, wanting to move in with her and work at the aunt’s store. Estranged from her family she is surprised when her brother who happens to be the Mayor of Goodson Hollow requests a lunch date with her in order to enlighten her further. Why does someone want her eliminated? Why did her parents really send her away? Just who is sending the packages and why does she need to be protected? Voices, noises, packages and deaths all surround Ryan but why? Notes attached to the presents would send chills down anyone’s spine and definitely make you want to leave town again and never return.
What do her parents know? Why didn’t they tell her before and how does this relate to the ninth floor? What about the book of pictures? You would not believe whose photos are in this book.
When Ryan visits her aunt she is often disoriented or short tempered. Within minutes her personality changes and you would think Bee had two different personalities. The author then reveals the secret behind the ninth floor, the past history of the hospital and what caused them to close down the floor and renovate it. Just what part did her parents play in the renovation? As we meet Briggs the man she was dating who dropped her like a hot charcoal and then turns up with her dogs and wants her back. Finding herself torn between Jack and Briggs not understanding where these odd gifts are coming from and why she is experiencing some weird feelings, Ryan will not give up until she finds out what exactly is locked behind the doors of the ninth floor and just what the author has in store for her and readers. The suspense is high. The tension mounts and the revelations will be more horrific than the ghosts that haunt this hospital. So, what was really going on and who was behind the strange things happening?
When Ryan finally learns a secret about her past, what happened to someone named Samantha and starts to piece some of the stray strands together she starts to realize that someone within the walls of the hospital might be behind what is happening. Why did Briggs come back? Why would her father offer to sell him the newspaper? What really happened to her that she forgot?
When her Aunt’s behavior takes a turn for the worse and her two personalities fall apart just what happens will make you wonder why she waited until it was too late to insist on moving her to another hospital. Just what really happened to everyone born on the ninth floor and why? Why did someone want her dead?
Paranormal, gaslighting, or just plain murder? When the killer is revealed you won’t believe how long this plot was in the making and why? Truths come out, lies revealed and deceptions revealed. Did the stalker because her parents wanted to protect her that she was sent away or was the secret reveal it the truth? Ryan Sterling’s life will never be the same and what is locked behind the doors of the ninth floor remains a secret. The only way you will learn the truth is if you unlock the pages of this book, get the key from the author to find out what is behind the doors but first read the book. You won’t be disappointed.
When Vivian’s life is in danger and her brother’s hangs in the balance what Ryan does will either bring a family together or allow the killer to permanently tear them apart. An ending that will surprise you and a twist that is more powerful than a curve ball thrown by a pitcher.
Characters that you will either love or hate and one young girl named Ryan that is relentless in her pursuit to find out what is really behind the locked doors of the Ninth Floor and to avenge what has happened to so many she cared about and why. Just who is crazy and who is really hearing voices you won’t believe. Was she going crazy or was a real person really stalking her? Who can she trust? A family that never showed their love and young girl caught in more than just the crossfire. The Ninth Floor: Let’s hope the doors stay permanently shut!
Fran Lewis: reviewer