Sunday, April 6, 2008
THE DREADFUL REVENGE OF ERNEST GALLEN by James Lincoln Collier
Some readers may recognize author James Lincoln Collier from one of his previous works titled MY BROTHER SAM IS DEAD. This new offering titled THE DREADFUL REVENGE OF ERNEST GALLEN will not disappoint his fans. If you are looking for a mystery/ghost story, this one is for you.
Gene Richards lives in Magnolia with his mother and his grandfather. He never really knew his father, although he wishes he did. Life is pretty normal for Gene until one day while walking home from a baseball game, he feels a tightness in his chest and a wiggling senstion in his middle. Then the weirdest thing happens - he hears a voice speaking to him for somewhere inside.
This mysterious voice tells Gene some shocking news. Gene's beloved grandfather may have committed some terrible crime. It was back before Gene was old enough to remember, and it involved some "get rich quick" scheme that caused many of the townspeople to lose their hard-earned money. The voice insists that Gene needs to investigate and seek revenge.
At the same time Gene hears the mysterious voice, his friend Sonny's dad dies in a freak accident and his friend Sam's father is injured in an equally strange car accident. The three share their stories and begin to investigate by reading back issues of the local newspaper. They soon learn that their fathers and Gene's grandfather were indeed involved in some questionable activities, and the voice Gene hears is most likely the ghost a young man found lynched in an abandoned farmhouse.
Readers will be entertained from start to finish as they follow the detective work of Gene and his friends. Each chapter undercovers another layer of the plot and brings up new questions and new adventures. THE DREADFUL REVENGE OF ERNEST GALLEN is an excellent addition to any middle grade collection.