THE AFFLICTED GIRL
The sequel to Gallows Hill is now available!
The murder of a man famously known as “Mr. Hallowe’en” has Detective Andrew Lennox searching for the only witness—a troubled young woman who believes herself to be the reincarnation of Bridget Bishop, a supposed witch hanged centuries ago. This afflicted girl is hiding somewhere in Salem and unwilling to come forward, and the hunt to find her leads through the colorful byways of summertime in Salem.
But Lennox is not alone in his search—can he find the missing girl before the killer does?
Gilded Age Newport… Millionaires and robber barons come to spend the season in their opulent mansions while their wives throw lavish balls and gossip over afternoon tea. In 1893, the toast of the town is a spirit-medium—just returned from Europe—who now summons the departed to the marble mansions and wealthy parlors of the summer colonists. Her success attracts the attention of a retired stage magician who has made his name exposing psychic charlatans. He decides to travel to Newport to effect one last dramatic unmasking.
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"Steeped in the rich quotidian details of the nineteenth century that enweb the happy reader in a textured and colorful recreation of a glamorous era, Rory's O'Brien's SUMMERLAND could not simultaneously be more contemporary than it is, dealing as it does with the eternal tug-of-war between science and faith, cynicism and hope, good will and chicanery. With a cast of flamboyant characters, the novel brings Gilded Age Newport to invigorating life, and provides enough thrills, laughter and suspense to make Mister Wilkie Collins or Mister Sheridan Le Fanu apprehensive about young rivals."
--Paul Di Filippo, author of THE STEAMPUNK TRILOGY.
"Summerland is a rich cup of tea. As spirited as the spirits contacted in its seances, this book courts all genre readers. An engaging mystery penned with historical flair and sumptuous detail, compelling in action and atmosphere, Summerland will surely sweep you into a spell."
- Leanna Renee Hieber, award winning author of STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL and THE ETERNA FILES.
First day back on the job, and there’s a corpse hanging at the infamous Gallows Hill in Salem, Massachusetts.
In therapy and still shaken after having killed a suspect, introverted police detective Andrew Lennox hasn’t revealed the full story behind the shooting that sent him into therapy and put him on Xanax. He and his partner soon discover that the hanged man is the lost heir of the Musgraves, an old family with a twisted history, who deny all knowledge of the victim. Solving the case takes Lennox through the colorful byways of modern-day Salem, a city still haunted by its own dark history of Puritan hysteria and witch-hunting zealots. He must deal with Hallowe’en tourists, self-styled witches, college students, tarot readers, local politicians, retired cops, and recent immigrants. Lennox discovers that everyone in Salem keeps secrets … and some people will kill to keep them.
"Rory O'Brien is an astonishing conjurer with words. Out of his deep historical knowledge, his perceptiveness about everyday existence, and his vivid imagination, he has brought to life in all its unique glory the legend-haunted city of Salem, Massachusetts, and populated it with characters both endearing and creepy ... Detective Andrew Lennox is an utterly believable hero whose clever exploits provide subtle frissons. "
Paul Di Filippo, co-author of FAMILIES ARE MURDER.
"What could be more ideal than a murder mystery set in Salem? What could be better than a police procedural at the very epicenter of our Trick or Treat tradition? Anyone seeking a delightful whodunit will eat this book up like a bag of Halloween candy. Here's hoping Rory O’Brien's first foray into crime fiction will not be his last!"
Walter Greatshell, author of TERMINAL ISLAND