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Ghost Song
Sarah Rayne

Felony & Mayhem
June 2012 / 9781937384101
Historical Mystery

Reviewed by Jan Fields

The dark, unused Tarleton Music Hall in London's South Bank is haunted by shadows of the past -- and maybe a little more. The old building houses a mystery hidden behind a makeshift wall. It seems everyone associated with the hall have mysteries of their own as well, and Sarah Rayne slowly peels away the layers on all of the interlaced mysteries -- those of the past and those of the present -- with skill and style.

I love old buildings, so the sensory detail that Rayne puts into every step inside the Tarleton was particularly delightful for me. She really makes the setting live, and certainly the Tarleton itself is as much a character in the novel as any of the people who play out their own mysteries within and around the old theater. As the author follows a number of character threads, you jump from one character to another when the book changes setting or time - with frequent dips into the past. It takes focus to keep up with the complicated plotline, but Rayne does a masterful job of keeping it from becoming confusing -- mostly by making each character a unique person.

Though terrible things happen in the book, it remains a charmingly hopeful and romantic story of dreams (and sometimes nightmares), giving us a glimpse of ordinary people who may -- at any time -- be called upon to be heroes. A seach arose to the challenge, I cheered a little. If you want a thinking-person's novel that pulls you in and leaves you feeling good --this is definitely a winner.

Reviewer Janis Fields is the editor of Kid Magazine Writers emagazine and has written dozens of stories and articles for the children's magazine market.
Reviewed 2012