Shoe Marks Review
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In the year 1899, three days after Maggie Horton gives birth to a son, her husband, James, beats her to death in a jealous rage. James claims that his wife died because of the summer heat—then he leaves his son with neighbors and disappears.

Almost fifty years later, Major Jeremy Stone buys the Horton house for his family. He’s just gotten out of the military, and he’s looking to start over in Ellensville, Texas, with his wife and two children. Right from the beginning, eerie things begin to happen: footsteps, whispers, a clock resetting to 9:00, an unknown man wandering about the property, and shoe marks gouged into the floor at the base of the stairs that sometimes fill with blood.

Before too long, the creepy events start to escalate to dangerous levels, forcing Jeremy to seek help from any source he can find. Maggie Horton is not at rest, and she won’t stop until she gets what she wants from the living.

Based on true events, Shoe Marks is written with chilling clarity. As I read it, I felt the hairs rise on the back of my neck, and I kept looking over my shoulder, expecting an angry ghost to be standing there. It’s not a book that you’re going to want to read late at night—unless you like being scared silly, like I do.

Ms. Vance brings the story together from horrifying beginning to shocking end with a skillful hand. She tells the back story within two or three chapters, but she does so with enough detail to make you care about the house’s past and understand why it’s important for Maggie to find peace.

You’ll also care about Jeremy and his family as they try to cope with something they don’t understand. They’re an ordinary family looking to make a life together as best they can, which makes it easy to relate to them—and you’ll even understand why they can’t move out and get away from the ghost.

The plot will surprise and shock you as it sweeps to an alarming climax. When I neared the end of the story—and key points were unveiled—I thought, Whoa! I did not expect that!

Highly entertaining and spooky, Shoe Marks is truly a great ghost story, with enough chill-inducing scenes to keep even the most avid reader of ghostly literature happy. But, be warned; it might give you nightmares.

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