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The Big Thrill Recommends: MIDNIGHT ON BEACON STREET by Emily Ruth Verona

Recommendation by Tracey Phillips

Book Cover Image: Midnight on Beacon HillSix-year-old Ben Mazinski stands in his kitchen at midnight. Only this can’t be his kitchen. Every-thing here is wrong. There’s a dead body, and he’s standing in a pool of slippery red blood. Debut author Emily Ruth Verona gripped my attention from the breathtaking start of MIDNIGHT ON BEACON STREET.

Earlier that evening, 17-year-old Amy arrives to babysit Ben and his 12-year-old sister, Mira. Ben seems nervous, but Amy understands. Her anxiety disorder makes her feel on edge, too. He talks about the ghost in his house. The one who moves the magnets on the fridge and steals the TV re-mote. His story reminds Amy of her favorite horror movies and triggers her anxiety.

Amy recalls Sadie, a girl who babysat her when she was Mira’s age. She would break the rules and do things Amy knew they shouldn’t. When the doorbell rings and Amy’s boyfriend, Miles, arrives with his unruly brother and disruptive friends, Sadie is among the group.

Amy feels she’s not in a position to tell them to leave—after all, they are older. It’s hard not to compare the night to all the horror films Amy has seen. The tension mounts, and Amy finally builds the courage to kick them out. But as the night goes on and the children’s mother, Eleanor, doesn’t return from her date, Amy’s apprehension and anxiety grow. A breathy voice whispering on the phone. The doorbell ringing again. Someone dangerous from the Mazinskis’s past arriving. Is Ben’s ghost in the kitchen, or is someone else there?

With alternating points of view and reversed timelines, Verona kept me entranced and on the edge of my seat. Fans of 90’s horror films won’t be able to put this thrilling debut down.



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