Black Creek Crossing

( 89 )

Overview

The dark history and dire secrets of a peaceful small town are summoned from the shadows of the past. Unholy forces are stirred from long slumber to monstrous new life. And two young misfits discover the chilling art of turning persecution into retribution. With these eerie ingredients, bestselling master John Saul once again works his unique brand of sinister magic to conjure an unforgettable tale of unspeakable terror.

For most of her young life, thirteen-year-old Angel ...

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Black Creek Crossing

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Overview

The dark history and dire secrets of a peaceful small town are summoned from the shadows of the past. Unholy forces are stirred from long slumber to monstrous new life. And two young misfits discover the chilling art of turning persecution into retribution. With these eerie ingredients, bestselling master John Saul once again works his unique brand of sinister magic to conjure an unforgettable tale of unspeakable terror.

For most of her young life, thirteen-year-old Angel Sullivan has been on the outside looking in, enduring the taunts of cruel schoolmates and the angry abuse of a bitter father. Then Angel’s family moves to the quaint town of Roundtree, Massachusetts—where a charming home is available, a promising job awaits Angel’s unemployed father, and most of all, the chance to make a new start beckons to the shy, hopeful teenager. But when she is shunned by her new classmates, Angel falls deeper into despair. Until she meets Seth Baker, a fellow outcast—and a fateful kinship is forged.

It’s Seth who tells Angel the unspoken truth about the legacy of murder that hangs over her family’s home—and the whispered rumors that something supernatural still dwells there. Uncertain whether the stories are true, and desperate to escape the torment of their daily lives, Angel and Seth devote themselves to contacting whatever restless soul haunts the dark recesses of Black Creek Crossing. But once they have begun, there is no turning back.

Guided by an anguished and vengeful spirit, they uncover the shocking events and centuries-old horrors that lay buried beneath the placid veneer of Roundtree. And along with the ghastly revelations comes a terrifying power—one that feeds upon the rage of the victimized, turning the basest impulses and most dangerous desires into devastating weapons. Now, the closer Angel and Seth are pushed toward the edge by their tormentors, the deeper they descend into the maelstrom of dark forces they’ve unleashed . . . and the more unspeakable the hour of reckoning will be.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With more than 30 books under his belt, veteran suspense novelist Saul is back with a horror novel featuring witchcraft, teen revenge and a haunted house. Angel Sullivan, a plain-looking 14-year-old who never fits in, gets a chance for a fresh start when her family moves into the plush community of Roundtree. Myra, her obsessively religious mother, and Marty, her lazy, alcoholic father, buy a house on Black Creek Crossing, even though the place is rumored to be haunted. Soon after they settle in, a black cat mysteriously appears out of thin air, smoke from a nonexistent fire fills the house and a girl's face appears in the darkness, reflected in a mirror. Meanwhile, Angel, with the help of another school outcast, Seth Baker, begins to investigate the history of the house. They discover an ancient book of spells that may have belonged to the house's original owners, members of a Salem-like community of witches, and the teens proceed to cast spells on the bullies who torment them. But the sinister forces inhabiting the house are just biding their time until they turn their malice on Angel and Seth. Saul crafts a few passable scenes-the potions Angel and Seth concoct work in clever ways-but the chills are few and far between in this lackluster, paint-by-the-numbers horror tale. (Mar. 16) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The Sullivans are thrilled with their new home at Black Creek Crossing-until they discover that a double murder occurred there, leading to some spooky doings. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449006542
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/31/2005
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 319,286
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

House of Reckoning is John Saul’s thirty-sixth novel. His first novel, Suffer the Children, published in 1977, was an immediate million-copy bestseller. His other bestselling suspense novels include In the Dark of the Night, Perfect Nightmare, Black Creek Crossing, Midnight Voices, The Manhattan Hunt Club, The Right Hand of Evil, Guardian, and Faces of Fear. Saul divides his time between Seattle, Washington, and Hawaii.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

As the last bell of the day rang, angel sullivan sat quietly in her seat in the last row of Mr. English's room and waited for her classmates to disappear before she even started stowing her books in her backpack. Finally, when even the chatter in the corridor outside the room had died down, she stood up to pull on her jacket.

"You okay, Angel?" the teacher asked, peering worriedly at her from behind his desk.

Okay? she repeated silently to herself. How could she be okay after what had happened this morning? And if Mr. English didn't know what was wrong, how was she going to explain it to him? After all, it had happened right there during the first period, just before the bell sounded, when Mr. English asked the class if they wanted to sing "Happy Birthday" to her. "Happy Birthday," like it was still third grade! Didn't he know that none of her classmates even spoke to her except to say mean things? So there she'd sat, in her seat in the last row, her face burning with embarrassment as a horrible silence fell over the room and half the class turned to stare at her. The only thing that saved her from bursting into tears of humiliation was that the bell had rung. Then everyone rushed for the door.

And now Mr. English wanted to know if she was okay?

Biting her lip but saying nothing, she hurried toward the door and the safety of the corridor beyond, which with any luck would now be empty.

"Angel?"

She heard Mr. English, but was already out of the room, the door swinging shut behind her.

Angel. What kind of name was Angel?

For a long time-well, maybe not all that long, but for a while, anyway-she had thought it was a wonderful name, maybe the most wonderful name in the world. Even now, memories of phrases from when she was barely more than a baby echoed softly in her mind.

Daddy's little Angel.

Mommy's little Angel.

Grammy's perfect little Angel.

It had been Grammy who gave her the very first Halloween costume she could remember. It was a white dress that Angel was certain had been made of satin but her mother insisted was only cheap muslin. But it didn't matter, because it had white sequins sewn all over it that glittered even when she was standing as still as she possibly could. On the back of the dress there were two wings Grammy had made of papier-mâché and then covered with white feathers.

"I've been saving them ever since you were born," Grammy had told her as she carefully fitted the wings onto her tiny three-year-old shoulders. "Some people might tell you they're only seagull feathers, but don't you believe them."

"But if they didn't come from seagulls, where did they come from?"Angel had asked.

"Angels," Grammy told her, looking deep into her eyes. "Angels just like you. They come to me when I dream, and leave feathers on my pillow. Feathers from real angels for my own perfect little Angel."

Angel still had those wings, but they no longer hung on the wall of her room, as they once had. Now they were wrapped in tissue paper and packed away in an old hat box she'd found in the basement of the house they lived in when she was nine, and even though her mother thought they should be thrown away, Angel knew they never would be. They were all she had to remind her of Grammy, who died a little while after that wonderful Halloween when she'd worn the angel costume, and Grammy held her hand and led her up to the porches decorated with jack-o-lanterns. Angel remembered being too shy to knock on the doors herself, and too terrified of the strangers who answered the doors to call out "Trick or treat," so Grammy had done that for her too.

Then, even before all her Halloween candy was gone, Grammy had died.

And she had been alone ever since, with only the wonderful feathered wings to remember her grandmother by.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 89 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2010

    Good idea, bad execution

    My first complaint about this book was something that a book reviewer from the Tuscon Citizen had written, and the publisher decided to throw that on the back cover. This review said, "Fast-paced and smoothly crafted. The gripping narrative will remind you of Stephen King in his prime." No, it didn't. It reminded me of Stephen King when he was probably in 8th grade.

    Second complaint: The characters were just deep enough to keep me (barely) interested, and the only two Saul allows us to know are Angel Sullivan and Seth Baker. Even then they weren't that interesting. These guys were made for each other. They keep getting picked on and never stand up for themselves, which is something I couldn't understand. Then they find their secret weapon, and either a) John Saul writes characters that are intensely dense, or b) he writes for intensely dense readers. I'm not sure which. There are so many moments in the narrative in the characters' heads, conversations, dreams or upon waking from their dreams when they constantly ask 'what was that?' or 'what could it mean?'. It got old really fast. Also, there are a handful of times in the story when you have to read about the same event, just with a different point of view. That got old too. You wouldn't think it would get boring in a book like this, but when you're reading a rerun that takes up another page...well, you get my point.

    Third complaint: There wasn't enough character development with the others, such as Angel's mom or dad or the priest. It could've made this book a lot more interesting, and possibly added some needed depth. Or we could've been treated to more characters that were two-dimensional, and their thoughts/inner workings/past would've had the same depth. Ok, so maybe we're better off with the way he wrote it. Count your blessings.

    Fourth and final complaint: Unessential details, such as a certain detail thrown in the story about a razor. Now, I'm not going to give it away. But let's just say that it was pretty stupid to throw in said unnecessary detail when you're pretty sure what's going to happen to the character. I know this doesn't make much sense, but if in doubt, go to page 431 and start reading with the 4th paragraph through the end of the page. I'm not saying all of this was unnecessary; quite the opposite. But there is a sentence at the end of the 4th paragraph that is. And if you don't agree with me... well, I'd hate to read the books you think are good fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2009

    A perfect Halloween read!

    I loved it! If you're looking for a true ghost/witch story just in time for Halloween, look no further. Black Creek Crossing is a great suspenseful novel. I finished it in 3 days. I couldn't help myself, the story sucks you in, and you're not satisfied until you know what happens. Highly recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2004

    Strong gothic horror novel

    Fifteen year old Angel Sullivan has no friends and is tormented by her peers. Her father drinks too much and has been fired from so many construction jobs nobody in town who will hire him. Marty¿s wife Myra loses herself in religion as a way of coping with her unhappy home life. When her sister Joni calls and informs her there is a perfect home that they can afford in Roundtree, Massachusetts, they buy it because Myra¿s brother-in-law gives Marty a job. <P>Angel loves her new home on Black Creek Crossing and believes she will make new friends at school but instead the students start tormenting her. The only person who befriends her is Seth Baker a pariah like Angel. Both teens notice inexplicable happenings in the house and a black cat with a definite agenda. He leads them to a place on the basement stairs where a book is found in a hidden panel and then he makes them follow him to a camouflaged cabin in the woods. There they open the book and what they find between the pages allows them to finally get revenge on their enemies. <P>Drawing on the Salem Witch trials and the folklore on haunted houses, John Saul creates a tale so vividly chilling and horrifying that readers will want to sleep with the lights on. BLACK CREEK CROSSING is not the typical haunted house story nor is it a modern day retailing of the Salem witches but an amalgam of the two. The protagonists draw reader sympathy from the very beginning which is why the ending is such a shock. Mr. Saul has written another gothic horror novel that is unforgettable. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    Great Book So Far

    I am reading this book tight now and this makes me never want to put it down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    Great read!!!

    I love all of john sauls books so far and this one wasn't any different!!! It was full of suspense. I didn't want to put it down. If you liked this book i recomend you read John Saul's Comes the Blind Fury.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Hello

    I think his books are very good , but it feels like every book i read of his has a kid in it that is bullied unmericfully,i mean , enough is enough with the bullies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    Oseroshito

    Oseroshi+o is Japanese for ocelot.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    Great Read!

    Couldnt put it down. Its one of my Favorite books EVER!

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Loved it!!!

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted August 7, 2011

    Black creek crossing

    Great read!!!!! Couldnt put down!!

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    Breathless

    Left me breathless and wanting more. I fallen in love with John Saul's books. I have read two prior to this one, but this story was positively captivating. A must read for anyone who enjoys a good ghost story, and tales of mischief.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not Fantastic, but not bad either

    Not the most orginal plot, but the book read well. Was a very quick read. I thought the bullying was a little over the top, but overall believable. The end was what I found to be a lacking. The end left me unsatisfied.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    invites you to find out what happens at Black Creek Crossing

    As with all John Sauls writings you want to keep on reading. Hard to put down, you keep wanting to go to the next chapter. And the ending always has a surpise.

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  • Posted January 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Witch Craft At It's Best & Wrost

    This book really had me going. I love any story with witch craft and ghost. I was so into it until I came to the ending. Sure disapointment. I'm no writer! Hell, i can't even spell half the time; but i could have thought of a better way way to end that story. I just expected more out of John Saul.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2008

    Ill forever remember this book

    This is one of the scarier John Saul books I have read. Especially the ending. I dont know about other people but I would never live in a house where a man killed his wife and child.. But in the cercumstances of this books people DO move in.. There is a lot going on in this book, and I really enjoyed it. I like how the author included the 'Black Cat' and witches! Awesome read. Try it out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2006

    it was a good book

    it kept me interested. made you feel sorry for the 2 kids,what they had to go though in school and at home,I allways read John Saul his books just keep getting better Im going to read perfect nightmare next. he has a new one in hardback

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2006

    One of my favorites.

    Angel is an outcast in her old school and she moves into the old house at black creek crossing.Due to the move she has to go to a new school were she hopes to meet friends. The only friend she meets is Seth Baker who just like her is an outcast. While unpacking one day she finds that there is a cat in her closet and since there was no whole in the closet (or what she could tell) she names the cat houdini. Throughout the rest of the book she gets made fun of by the cool girls of her school, has creepy incounters and finds out the horrifying truth about the house that she is now living in. Though this was the first John Saul book that I have read it will certainly not be the last.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2006

    In Defense Of A Good Book

    I read Black Creek Crossing recently. While I was reading it I also read some of the reviews published here. I think that some of us may have been a little hard on Mr. Saul. I mean when you have to pick apart the accuracy of the human body to say how bad a book is then you don't have much. That having been said, I think that Mr. Saul wrote a very good book on the sensational elements of goth culture. This was long overdue for him. It was certainly a ghost story, combined with the romantic elements of the outcast. Mr. Saul has not lost his touch on making both his characters, locations, and buildings seem very real in the readers imagination. I think the problem arises out of the fact that Mr. Saul stepped outside of the box. Mr. Saul's recent previous efforts have been something the mainstream would find acceptable. This counterculture area is where the mainstream becomes very touchy. I say congrats Mr. Saul!! This was a very sensationalistic, entertaining and enduring piece of work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2006

    this wasn't half bad

    This book seemed very interesting to me when I first picked it up, and it was extremly spellbinding. Till the very end. The last chapeter seemed to end too quickly, with nearly no explanation (and hello, did any one else notice the aorta is not in the neck). Other than that, Black Creek Crossing was certainly fun while it lasted, and I would definately recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2006

    Spellbinding :)

    I really enjoyed this book, even though it started off slow for me and I was able to figure out part of the story. Yet once I got into the plot, I couldn't put it down. On the other hand, as much as I loved the book, there are two things I take issue with, one of them being that Mr Saul apparently doesn't know that your aorta is in your chest, and not your neck!! Try jugular or carotid artery, those are accurate! But, I won't say more about that because I don't want to ruin the story for people. As it is, that was at the end of the book anyway. Up until then, I was loving the story and then I was immensely disappointed and wondering why no editor, or Mr Saul himself had caught the error. So, that's partly why I'm only giving it 4 stars. Another issue I had is the amount of teasing that Angel and Seth endure at school. I understand this was the groundwork for the basis of the story, but I think he went a little overboard and could have omitted some. Ultimately, I still enjoyed the book!

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