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Parkerville

Some Towns Just Never Give Up Their Past

Clarion Review (1 Stars)

Jennifer a reporter and Donald a photographer come to the town of Parkerville Pennsylvania to cover the story of a student librarian found crucified in the school library apparently by supernatural forces. The murder took place two years previously but the case was never solved. Jennifer has researched the story and found that another girl vanished from the town fifty years before—and both girls’ families had lived in the same house. But the address of the house is listed as being in Mountainville; the town renamed itself after the girl’s disappearance.

This convoluted tale of witchcraft crucifixion Ouija boards and religion is confusing and often contradictory. A witch named Bridget Parker executed in Salem Massachusetts in the 17th century is apparently the cause of the “curse” on the town of Mountainside—now Parkerville—yet there is no sign that any accursed actions have taken place until Jennifer and Donald come to town. The disappearance of Michelle Parker—a descendant of the accused Bridget—is the reason that the town renamed itself a fact none of the main characters who live in the town are aware of. And the crucifixion death of of librarian Veronica Corwin after a session on the Ouija board with her friends seems to have generated no investigation at all.

Readers will find the story hard to follow not only because of its plot and shallow characters but also because of the poor writing. The book is filled with grammatical and punctuation errors that further confuse the action making it an unpleasant read. This is just one example: “I braced my faith tighter for I had never seen so much rage from such a woman who once had cared for my church since her birth many moons ago.” Spellchecking was obviously done only with a program since there are many instances of the wrong word used to describe something — such as “rain parker” for “rain parka” — and the text is rife with other language errors such as “The glass with her drink smashed onto the wood hardened floor… .” There’s a constant rainstorm going on throughout the story with incessant references to thunder and lightning.

Research shows that Ouija boards as known today did not exist before the mid-19th century; however in this story Bridget Parker and other witches “cursed” an Ouija board with their blood in 1696 before they were condemned to death as witches. This is another inaccuracy since the Salem witch trials took place in 1692. Even the mention of the movie “The Exorcist” classifies the plot inaccurately.

There is plenty of gross-out action as priests are beheaded and vivisected corpses are disinterred and carried around characters bleed copiously and spontaneously and the dead walk. But fans of supernatural fiction will not be tempted.