Night of the Clipper: In the Aftermath of One of the Nation's Worst Air Disasters, One Passenger Remains.

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Overview

"Night of the Clipper" is a ghostly story of mystery, action, suspense, and even budding romance centered in the small town of Elkton, Maryland. The date is December, 2013, and young Douglas Pledger and his family are newcomers to the neighborhood, after having moved to escape the bustle of the big city, and for his father, Rick Pledger, to begin a new law practice. For Douglas, confused and frustrated over having to leave his former home and friends, what should be a new beginning for this now-lonely ninth grader is just the beginning of strange ...
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Overview

"Night of the Clipper" is a ghostly story of mystery, action, suspense, and even budding romance centered in the small town of Elkton, Maryland. The date is December, 2013, and young Douglas Pledger and his family are newcomers to the neighborhood, after having moved to escape the bustle of the big city, and for his father, Rick Pledger, to begin a new law practice. For Douglas, confused and frustrated over having to leave his former home and friends, what should be a new beginning for this now-lonely ninth grader is just the beginning of strange and mysterious events that, initially, only he experiences. Douglas' sister Marcy, his father Rick and his mother Rachel become gravely concerned with his sudden change in behavior. It isn't until Douglas enlists the help of former firefighter, Dave Holt, Dave's dog Gretchen and Dr. Celeste Creeley from Villanova University that the truth surrounding Douglas' ghostly encounters becomes clear, after which the only question is, "What now?" Marcy, Rick and Rachel also become deeply involved as answers become known. For Dave Holt, a former fire fighter's haunted past is awakened as he and Douglas become close friends. For Dave's faithful dog, Gretchen, her uncanny instincts will help move the action in the most chilling ways as she helps guide the others to important clues. Celeste Creeley will be met with a realization she would never have anticipated before leaving her home in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, to travel to Elkton at Dave Holt's invitation as the dynamic background story requires her presence there. Douglas' sister Marcy, father, Rick, and mother, Rachel, will make a shocking transition from disbelievers to unwilling participants in a bizarre series of events as the action unfolds. Elkton CID detective Ed Neevers is initially on the outside looking in as the actions of the other characters present an entirely different picture, where his law enforcement responsibilities require that he begin to investigate the strange goings on in the community. Will his investigation derail the efforts of the others? "Night of the Clipper" is a story that combines action, suspense, the supernatural, and the deeply compassionate, to provide the reader with many exciting facets, real places and true historical events that set the stage for this compelling story. So, strap yourselves in and follow Douglas and his family, Dave Holt, Gretchen the dog, Dr. Creeley and Detective Neevers as they all join together in a wild ride to resolve a 50-year old ghostly mystery. Enjoy "Night of the Clipper!"
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-07
A teenager discovers that a victim of a 50-year-old plane crash isn't yet at rest in this debut supernatural novel. Fourteen-year-old Douglas Pledger isn't thrilled when his family moves from Virginia to the small town of Elkton, Md., but when he explores a field near his new home, he encounters something extraordinary--the wreckage of a crashed jet that only he can see. His conversations with the colorful locals reveal that in 1963, Pan Am Flight 214 crashed in that same field, killing everyone aboard. Douglas soon befriends Dave Holt, a retired fireman who was one of the first responders to the scene. Together, they dig deeper into the events of that night and eventually contact Celeste Creeley, the cousin of Rose Kelly, a 12-year-old who died in the crash. Together, they discover that Rose's restless spirit is trapped in the field, and only Douglas can help her find peace. Walcek spins a fanciful yarn, with healthy doses of the supernatural and, when an enterprising ghost hunter arrives on the scene, some high drama. It also effectively mixes fiction with fact: The novel's characters are invented, but the descriptions of the plane's final moments are drawn from real-life radio transmissions from a Pan Am flight. Although it's a simple ghost story on the surface, it's also an exploration of the ripple effects of disaster and how long-ago traumas can haunt people for decades. Unfortunately, its overwritten prose style slows the pace, and basic facts are often restated unnecessarily; one passage near the end of the book, for example, needlessly identifies Douglas as "a recently displaced teenager with enough on his plate from having been uprooted from his former home in Virginia." Still, the burgeoning romance between Dave and Celeste is engaging, and readers will likely find it hard not to root for the sensitive, well-meaning Douglas as he desperately tries to make sense of the strange things happening around him. A promising paranormal tale that ultimately fails to soar.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781484141250
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 4/10/2013
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,000,608
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Vincent J. Walcek is an award-winning former Aerospace Engineering professional with a passion for storytelling and a love of aircraft. Born in Washington, D.C. and brought up in the suburb of Bethesda, Maryland, Mr. Walcek always maintained an equal enjoyment and facility with the arts and sciences throughout his education. He was educated at St. Louis University with degrees in Mathematics and Chemistry, and Washington University in St. Louis with a Master of Science degree in Systems Science and Mathematics. He spent most of his career designing aerospace flight systems for aviation and space applications including the Space Shuttle and various fighter aircraft. Mr. Walcek was also trained as a space shuttle launch team specialist at Johnson and Kennedy Space Centers. At a point in his career he decided to retire his calculator and put pen to paper to begin writing in order fulfill his deep desire and love for storytelling.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    I loved this novel. I've always been a fan of historical fiction

    I loved this novel. I've always been a fan of historical fiction, and this one is based upon the well-documented crash of Pan American Airways Flight 214 in Elkton, Maryland in December of 1963. Before I read the novel, I had read accounts of the crash and seen pictures of the scene - both of which are readily available on-line. For me, this made the story all the more interesting and immediate. The Cecil County Historical society plans a 50th anniversary commemoration ceremony of the crash in December of 2013 to honor the victims and their families.

    Although it is a work of fiction, the radio transmissions cited were taken directly from the Civil Aeronautics Board final report on the crash. The Story is a ghostly mix of fact, mystery, and suspense. When the Pledger family moves to Elkton, the usual adjustments - school, work, new friends - take a back seat to young Douglas Pledger's encounter with a lone "survivor" of the crash. The characters include Dave Holt, a young first responder at the time of the crash - a retired fire fighter at the time of the Pledger move to Elkton; Dr. Celeste Bishop-Creeley, a professor of literary studies and international lecturer; Gretchen, Dave's dog, who leads the other characters to the gradual awareness of the importance of Miller's Field; and a little girl named Rose.

    "Night of the Clipper" is a great blend of fact and fiction, the present and past, everyday people and unexplained phenomena.

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