Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Ghost of Blackwood Lane by Greg Enslen

A while back, when I was visiting, my mom gave me a book she had bought by a local author. I was busy and just didn't seem to have time to read, but lately, I have been doing a lot of reading (and loving it!) and finally had a chance to read the book.

The book is called The Ghost of Blackwood Lane. The author has written five books, three of which were fiction and writes columns for a couple of local papers.

* cover image used from author's website

I really enjoyed reading the book. The story was told primarily from three perspectives - Chris/Gary, Judy and Vincent. We learn as the story begins that Chris' dad is testifying in a federal case against the head of the local mob in a small community, just east of St. Louis, who also had been his employer. After his mother is killed by a car bomb, at a safe house, it is decided that Chris needs to have his memories about the community and his friends blocked, for his own protection, and is given a new name in the process. One of the memories that is suppressed is that of his girlfriend, whom he has recently proposed to. After his dad is done testifying, the family is moved under the witness protection program to Sacramento.

When Chris' family suddenly disappeared, Judy was lost. With time, she met and married Vincent, a member of the Family that Chris' dad had testified against. Judy finds herself in an abusive relationship and relies on her painting, which she hides from her husband, to help her escape life.

Vincent wants to be the head of the Family, but has had to be content with just being the lead of one fraction of the family. His brother has taken the other portion to legitimate businesses, but Vincent wants them to be a 'proper crime family'. When his brother approaches him about joining forces and really growing the family business, he is all in.

After several years, Gary (formerly Chris) has graduated from college and is working at an architecture firm in Los Angeles. He has new friends, but can't seem to maintain a relationship with women. He starts to have trouble sleeping, being haunted by a recurring dream. The woman in the mirror seems so familiar to him, yet he can't place her. As the dream continues, he reaches out to his father to try to figure out what the dream means and who this woman, whom he believes to be at risk for harm, is.

When his step mom gives him a picture from his past, it sends Gary on a mission to learn more about his past, which he can't remember, and to try to locate this woman who is haunting his dreams, before it is too late.

The story that unwinds is captivating. As I got deeper into the story, I found myself unwilling to put the book down. When the story finally reached the end, I found myself wanting the next find out what happened after.

As I mentioned, there are a couple of other fiction books that he wrote and I think I will check them out. You can find this book online at Amazon or you can order directly from the author.

To learn more about Greg Enslen and his books, check out his website -

No compensation was received for this post. My mother bought this book for me. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.