The Ghost Comes Out
by The Sisters Spurlock
Christian Faith Publishing

"That summer, secrets that were hidden behind closed doors were secrets no more."

It’s the summer of 1964 in sleepy Grayton, Tennessee. Two young sisters decide to pass the long, hot days by playing summer school and invite other children to join them. Over the course of the season, the lives of these children, their families, and their entire community undergo dramatic changes and events.

Victoria Scholl is glad her daughters start their summer school, as she has had to rely on her begrudging mother-in-law for childcare since the death of her husband just months before. The plot focuses mainly on the Scholl family and their actions, but all of the people with whom they interact have complicated stories of their own. A beautiful heiress harbors a shocking secret. A man seeks to prove himself worthy of joining the KKK. A conniving pastor’s wife plots to better her position. Delicate new relationships start, while others fall apart. And throughout the summer, a dangerous figure lurks behind bushes and formulates plans that endanger the lives of the townsfolk—especially the children.

This novel is a thriller, building suspense in almost every chapter. The drama of the town includes unsolved murders, arson at the town’s Black church, and mafia operations. In between the thrills and action are sweet scenes of pure Americana, such as when everyone in town attends the county fair. Grayton is such a small town that there is only one bank, which everyone just refers to as “BANK” because of the large letters on the front of the building. Everyone knows everyone else in town, but as the story reveals, no one actually knows what is going on under the surface. Almost every character has some secret revealed, or some mystery resolved by the end of the novel. The authors expertly juggle these complicated, interrelated plotlines to bring this small town’s intense summer to life.

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