Physical death is tragic, but the death of a spirit is a life forever lost.
Jenna Emerson learns she's clairvoyant when her mother's spirit contacts her with a plea for help. Something in the afterlife threatens the survival of spirits from Haldis Notch, Vermont.
From the house next door comes another plea, this time from the living. Responding to it leads Jenna to reunite with her childhood friend, and she learns how intensely his deceased father, Jake, resented the residents of Haldis Notch. Retaliation against physical lives wasn't enough. He carried his venom into death, determined to inflict vengeance on their souls. Jake always had a special passion for Jenna, and now she's the only one who can stop him. To succeed she must learn more about what drives him, but understanding Jake's motives draws her into his trap. If Jenna falls victim, every soul in Haldis Notch will suffer the ultimate retaliation for the petty grudges they held in life.
Jenna's grandmother stared at her with an intensity that physically jarred Jenna. "What is it?"
"Something's wrong. I felt it."
"What? Something here? At the store?"
"No. What could be so wrong at the store?" Ady's voice was harsh and loud.
Jenna looked toward the coolers and saw Eric watching, concerned. "You're scaring Eric."
"I'm scared," Ady said, her voice lowered but still intense. "I know what you want to discuss. You should have come to me right away." She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. When she looked at Jenna again, her expression was calmer, but emotion swirled behind her eyes. "A spirit contacted me. It was panicked, in pain. It had been attacked. Something was killing it, Jenna. Is that why you couldn't reach Libby's spirit? Is she..." Ady took in another great breath.
Jenna remembered her mother's plea for help. She hadn't seemed panicked, but had something happened since then? Was it already too late to help her?
"Can you understand what it would mean if a spirit died?" Ady said, her voice low and raspy. "Not just a body, but a soul. Gone. Forever dead. Can you even imagine what that means?" Tears pooled in her eyes. "My God--" Her hands fluttered to her face. "My God, Jenna."
Ady covered her face, just as she had done when Libby passed away. On that day, Jenna had gripped Ady's wrists and eased her hands down so they could hold each other and share their pain and strength. But after seeing Ady's eyes, Jenna had released her grandmother so she could hide her face again. The agony reflected there was too painful to see, too painful for Ady to bear, perhaps. For a moment, her eyes had looked like a madwoman's.
Jenna didn't try to lower Ady's hands this time. Instead, she gripped her grandmother's shoulders. "I heard mother's voice."
Ady's hands relaxed and slid down her face. "When? Today?"
"No. Three days ago."
"You didn't say anything." Ady sounded more surprised than hurt. "Three days ago. Why wouldn't you tell me? Is it bad news? What did she say?"
"It's what I wanted to talk to you about." Jenna watched Ady wipe tears off her cheeks. Her hands still trembled, but she seemed to be regaining her composure. "Mother wasn't alone. There were other voices. And I saw them, lights moving through the darkness like fireflies. Mother asked for my help."
"You saw the spirits." Ady studied her granddaughter's face as if seeing her for the first time. After several seconds, she asked, "Help with what?"
Jenna shook her head. "I'm not sure. Voices were all around me. It was disorienting. Mother's voice rang out, asking me to help. I don't know what she needs, but...she knew me." A lump formed in Jenna's throat. "She said my name."