Saul’s novel Black Creek Crossing was in the same venue as Spielberg’s Carrie, with the same religious overtones, self-loathing teenagers, taunting peers and the overshadowing of witchcraft. However, apart from that, the novel is filled with believable characters who find themselves caught up in the supernatural and in a set of scary circumstances including witchcraft, the evils of alcoholism, religion, and the results of bullying, etc.

The story unfolds around the life of Angel Sullivan whose dysfunctional family embarks on a journey into the supernatural when they move into a new home at Black Creek Crossing. However, while Angel had hoped that their move would end the bullying that she had been forced to endure at her previous school the scenario only unfolds to one which is much, much worse. The only plus side to the move for her was that she finds a friend in a fellow student, Seth Baker, who has also been the victim of abuse both at the hands of his father and the other students.

Unbeknownst to Angel’s family, was that the house was haunted by two witches who had been burned at the stake in the 1600s. However, shortly after moving in Angel is confronted by a strange cat and strange images of a young girl and when the two teenagers discover the dark secret about Angel’s new home, strange and dangerous things, begin to take over the town.

The book which begins with a shocking opening is propelled onward by an unstoppable plot to an explosive climax. For the most part Saul did a wonderful job of explaining why certain things were occurring but there are a couple of things that he left hanging like why the tree in the church square that was always struck by lightening when someone was practicing witchcraft didn’t burn and why it was important to the story. I also never quite understood why Seth had been cruelly nicknamed “Beth” by his teenage torturers. Basically, the story is a fairly straightforward Harry Potter for adults.

[tags]book review, John Saul, Black Creek Crossing, fiction, witchcraft, Carrie, Spielberg, bullying, [/tags]