The Weeping by O’Dell Hutchison was released in the U.S. on March 6, 2012 in hardcover and eBook formats.
Published by H,C & B Publishing the print edition is 282 pages.
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Twenty years ago, Catherine Whitley was the victim of a horrible crime. Betrayed by her friends, including the boy she loved, she was left to die when the Rock Harbor Opera House caught fire, taking a disturbing secret with her to her grave.
Seventeen-year-old Heath Ingram was driving the night his Jeep careened off the road, killing three of his closest friends. Once a popular, outgoing athlete, Heath now suffers from severe depression and crippling anxiety. His parents decide to send him to stay with his uncle in Rock Harbor, Oregon for the summer, praying that by getting away he will be able to put this awful tragedy behind him.
When Heath starts working at the newly renovated Rock Harbor Opera House, he meets Molly, a young dancer who awakens in him a desire to start over and move on. But, when he begins having visions of a half-burned girl in a white dress, he starts to think he may be slipping even further over the edge.
As the apparent hauntings become more intense, Heath begins to fear for his safety. With the help of his friend Josie, Heath discovers an unsettling secret that ties the mysterious girl to both their families. When two of their friends die unexpectedly, Josie and Heath realize that something, or someone, is after the children of those who wronged Catherine, and they are next
Catherine Whitley felt unloved.
The boy she thought loved her the way she loved him acted as if he wanted to have nothing more to do with her.
Even her own mother didn’t seem to care for her happiness, her best interests or even her safety.
She felt betrayed.
By the boy she loved. By the friend she trusted. And by the mother who was supposed to love her no matter what.
All she asked for was their honesty. All she received in return were lies.
She felt abandoned.
When she needed them most, those who were supposed to care for her turned their backs on her.
And when her life was in danger, she was left unprotected and completely alone.
Now all she felt was anger.
And she wouldn’t rest until those who hurt her suffered as she had.
The Weeping is a delightfully chilling and immensely entertaining story that is part mystery and part ghost story with just a touch of horror thrown in. The dark and macabre opening sets the stage for a story that will keep readers guessing as to what’s real and what’s imaginary.
And with a quick pace, a number of twists and turns and a shocking ending, this story will make those page turns incredibly exciting.
The story unfolds through the eyes of Heath Ingram, a boy who has suffered the loss of three of his friends in a car accident that he feels responsible for. In a last-ditch effort to help with his recovery, his parents decide he should spend the summer with his Uncle Vic and help him prepare for the grand re-opening of his uncle’s theatre, the Rock Harbor Opera House.
A theatre that was destroyed by a fire that tragically claimed the life of a young, troubled girl. And one with a history of mysterious occurrences that kept it from returning to its former glory.
Occurrences that hadn’t plagued his uncle or the cast and crew until Heath’s arrival. But from the moment he sets foot in the theatre, everything changes. Suddenly they are bedeviled by a series of accidents and acts of vandalism whose only explanation seems to be that Heath is responsible. And everyone is quick to point fingers at him.
Heath is the new arrival, after all. He is the one who can’t seem to control his anger. He is the one who seems to be haunted by his past. And he is the one who is keeping secrets.
But when Heath claims to be having dreams of a girl in a white dress, a girl he could have sworn he saw in the theatre around the time of each of the incidents he’s being blamed for, he begins to wonder whether the ghosts of his past are driving him to insanity or maybe they’re not the only things haunting him.
Author O’Dell Hutchison’s The Weeping hits all the right notes for fans of the genre – secrets, lies, betrayal, tragedy and a mystery to be solved. With an introduction that sets a dark tone and an even darker ending with a surprising twist, The Weeping is an incredibly eerie and enjoyable read.
Reviewer gives this book…
On a personal note:
I have always been a fan of horror and ghost stories. And The Weeping has all the elements that I look for in those books. I loved the author’s introduction to Catherine and to the theatre’s tragic past.
And I loved how bits and pieces from Catherine’s journal were peppered throughout the story, giving brief glimpses into her life and her thoughts.
Her story was just so unbelievably sad. And she was a totally sympathetic character – my favorite in this book, actually.
I never really made a connection with Heath, but as this story was much more about the mystery and about Catherine, I didn’t feel like I was missing out. Heath wasn’t particularly likable at first, but he was also a sympathetic character, and by the story’s end was much more appealing.
I very much liked Josie. She definitely had an edge, but she brought an energy to the story that kept me engaged and kept the pace moving.
As I have read more than my fair share of mystery and horror stories, I wasn’t completely surprised by the twists and turns throughout or the shocker at the end, but I still found myself captivated by the story and eager to see how it ended.
And I loved how things ended. Although it did feel a bit abrupt. I read the author’s alternate ending on his website and while I much prefer the original – because the two parts to the alternate seemed disjointed – I did think the second half of that alternate ending would have made for a perfect epilogue for this book.
I don’t typically like to compare authors or stories, but The Weeping held the same appeal for me as the books written by one of my favorite horror authors, John Saul. There was just something about the way the The Weeping unfolded that made me connect to it in the same way.
I am so glad that I got the chance to discover this author’s awesome book. When it was first brought to my attention and I checked out the description on Goodreads, I knew that it would be the type of book I’d love.
And I am definitely looking forward to seeing what other dark tales the author has to tell.
To read an excerpt of Chapter One from The Weeping on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.
If you’ve read the book and want to check out the alternate ending, CLICK HERE.
This review is based on an eARC I received from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.