Anonymous: Christine Benedict
Debra and Greg Hamilton have decided to move into an old house that is in need of more than just plain renovations. The floorboards are unsteady and creak when walked on, the sounds that permeate through the many rooms and the basement would frighten anyone making them think they are not alone. Debra’s mother is in an institution for the mentally insane after killer her husband. Never taking blame for anything Aida, whenever she committed a cruel act would blame it on Debra saying: Look what you made me do. The 100-year-old farmhouse is considered a blacklisted real estate property. Debra’s husband Greg opened his own carpentry business and is rarely home. Never really spending any quality time with her he usually meets his friends for a drink after work. Next door to Debra we meet Julie whose marriage is quite shaky and whose husband’s temper is highly volatile. Placing these two next door to each other might be a stroke of brilliance on the part of the author as she’s created two characters, each with their own demons, and each constantly fighting for survival in their own way. But, Debra begins doubting her sanity as noises come out of nowhere, things disappear, memories of her childhood come flooding back and she begins thinking that she might become schizophrenic like her mother. Julie, her neighbor faces her own fears as someone close by is watching her, stalking her and sending her love letters claiming to care for her and wants to spend time with her but is afraid because he is married. Going to bars with Debra, jogging and hoping to find out who this man is, gets her in more trouble as she and Debra are chased by an unknown driver and when Debra related the address of the man in the black car what Kyle, Julie’s husband says and does changes it all.
The farmhouse is riddled with spiders, ants, and snakes and needs more than just general repairs. Debra finds thing each time she tries to clear her home like ants, rust, a huge potato chip tin filled with rust and worse when most would think the noises of a house would be do to it settling why one that ‘s 100 years old and is that what is really happening?
Kyle and Julie Zourenger welcome her as well as an older couple Marie and Sam who has Alzheimer’s. Things spiral out of control as Julie and Debra form a great friendship but each one’s husbands create conflict, strife and at times you begin to wonder just who is trying to drive Debra over the edge. The letters build up in piles and Kyle goes off each time in a jealous rage. “Smitten,” is the way this stalker signs his letters and the Sheriff will do nothing about it because she has not been threatened until the car chase. Every time Debra is alone something happens. Each incident makes you wonder whether someone is out to get her and just who remains to be revealed, as Debra is afraid, wants to move out of this house and Greg could care less. His attitude is condescending and he seems to be placating her not showing any type of emotional understanding and at times cold. Julie and Debra form a partnership and jog each evening. However, each time things get stranger and stranger and Julie who lives and works on the farm, becomes frantic when Kyle is charged with the murder of the man whose address Debra took down during the car chase. Kyle stated in no uncertain terms that he was going to kill the stalker. Added in we have someone named Bruce who goes around killing cats and is unnoticed. Then, there is Otto the rambunctious cow who needs obedience school to say the least and who seems bent on torturing poor Debra adding to her fears and strife. While Julie and Debra fight off their own separate fears. But, when they are brought into the police station things heat up as both Julie and Debra give their statements and Kyle is arrested for murder. What is unusual is that Julie is banned from seeing him and the reaction of her sons quite compelling yet she won’t allow them to come home and insists they remain in school. Is someone trying to Gaslight Debra? Is someone playing mind games with Julie?
When you meet Aida during one of Debra’s visits you some insight into her mental state and you can see why Debra fears becoming like her. Never taking responsibility for her actions and getting away with an insanity plea you wonder if Aida is just a great actress or really crazy.
Things get more complicated as we hear the voice of another man who is going to take out his anger on Julie and Debra. One woman pays the ultimate price and another might just for knowing her. One police officer finds himself attracted to Julie but will he get there in time to save her and Debra from the wrath of someone hiding in plain sight? The weather turns dangerous, the lights go out and the storm helps to build up the suspense as both Julie and Debra’s friendship gets tested, their husband’s find that their lives will never be the same and two young college students have to come to terms with the truth. Who was stalking Julie and why? What does she learn about Kyle that changes it all? Is this house haunted or is Debra going crazy? An ending that takes readers by surprise and two women whose lives will never be the same as Debra needs to face her fears and Julie reality.
When someone breaks into Debra’s house and the real killer comes to light you will not believe what happens. The ending lets readers know that it’s not over for Debra as yet and the house still has more to tell her. With her hands and body covered in rashes and Julie infected by the cats too you won’t believe who is behind the stalking and who framed Kyle for murder? But, sometimes not every ending is happily ever after and the author leaves you wondering what is next for Debra and is living in this house going to turn her into her mother?