A Ghostly Light
Written by Juliet Blackwell
Narrated by Xe Sands
Series: Haunted Home Renovation, Book 7
Listening Length: 8 hours and 7 minutes
Published by Tantor Audio (June 27, 2017)
Mel Turner, general contractor for Turner Construction, has been hired to renovate a lighthouse keeper’s home on an island in the strait joining San Pablo bay with San Francisco bay near San Quentin prison. Built in 1871, the Victorian home still exuded charm between rotted floor boards. The landmark needed extensive repairs being planned by the billionaire who bought the island with his assistant Alicia Withers to turn it into a small inn.
Everyone involved in renovating Lighthouse Island boarded a boat that would be their lifeline, since even cell service on the island was sketchy. After landing, Mel and Alicia head for the Light Keeper’s house. Suddenly Alicia looks as if she has seen a ghost. However, it is Alicia’s abusive ex-husband Thorn who has found her despite efforts to hide the tracks to her new identity. Alicia’s bodyguard arrives in time to escort Thorn to his yacht. Then the air grows cold, and Mel witnesses a woman climb the lighthouse tower and throw herself off the balcony. The woman is the ghost of the Lighthouse Keeper’s wife, Ida Vigilance. History tells us that she had a son named Franklin who loved to play pirate. One day when he was playing on the rocks, she’d been distracted, and Franklin disappeared, leaving Ida frantic. The Lighthouse Keeper had fallen down the stairs, injuring himself, so Ida searched alone for days until she became so despondent, she jumped to her death, and had continued these behaviors for the past hundred years.
Suddenly young Franklin appears in front of Mel, just as she hears a scream from the Lighthouse Tower.
As Mel arrives at the tower, a man came tumbling down the inner spiral staircase only to land at Mel’s feet with a knife protruding from his belly. Mel quells her vertigo and manages to go up a number of steps until she meets Alicia coming down. She swears she didn’t kill Thorn but says she hadn’t seen anyone else who could have.
Mel is able to text her friend, the homicide inspector at SFPD, and help arrives. Ultimately Alicia is charged with murder, and Mel must not only figure out what is happening at Lighthouse Island but also try to discover who really did kill Thorn. Her search takes her to unexpected places to meet truly extraordinary people. A possible doppelganger intrigues Mel, and she is assisted in learning about her with her boyfriend Landon’s help. Landon, whom we met in the last book when he arrived at the scene of his sister Chantelle’s murder, brings patience and calm to his relationship with Mel, even staying with her in her father’s house. That family life keeps Mel grounded in the present as she deals with the past.
As the remarkable narrator Xe Sands says the words, “The End,” I began to leak a few tears and hugged the book. The ending was extraordinarily wonderful – clever, simple, and romantic as well as intriguing. The clues that had been laid in plain sight through this adventure all pointed to this delicious ending, and I found it immensely satisfying.