Author: Charlie H. Johnston Jr
Exploiting the dark menace of the supernatural as well as lurid dreams, Superstition is a fast paced harrowing tale that not only you can't put it down, but you don't dare put it down, as it unravels through a series of increasingly hair pin twists and turns
Author: Charlie H. Johnston Jr
Charlie H. Johnson Jr.'s debut thriller Superstition immerses us into the mysterious world of a New York psyche detective named Carlos. Carlos doesn't give séances or visit crime scenes to figure out what happened or whom to arrest. Rather, he relies on some gifted individuals who, with clairvoyance, channeling, or ESP, make contact with the world of the spirits. As we are to discover, solutions are very often buried by the passage of time and confusion.
The narrative is set against the backdrop of legend, history and intrigue of the Superstition Mountain range in Central Arizona, where treasure hunters have scoured the mountains searching for what they believe to be the richest gold mine in the world, the Lost Dutchman Mine. And Johnston doesn't miss an opportunity to exploit many of the myths and tales associated with this national monument.
After placing an ad in a newspaper, Carlos receives a phone call from Victoria Winters of Phoenix, Arizona requesting that he find her real father. Apparently, her mother died a few years ago and she has no other living family. Furthermore, Victoria had failed to establish any blood connections through legal records, nor did she have a birth certificate. The only documentation she could provide Carlos was a photo of her mother. It is through this photo that Carlos will attempt to reach Victoria's mother on the other side and try to communicate with her to find out who was her real father.
Within a few days, Carlos receives the photo and upon carefully examining it, he feels an unusual sudden dryness in his throat. When turning the photo over, he notices in fading brown ink, a scrawl of handwriting with the words “At the Massacre Grounds 1942.” He also notices the shadow of a male photographer in the foreground. Was this man Victoria's father? As Carlos states: “Looking into the photograph with my magnifying glass, I saw a fragment of a lost world- a world I was now to discover. What was the life of the woman and the shadow of the photograph? Who were they? What were they to each other? What were they doing on that day long ago in a barren landscape? Was there some key here, in the photo, that I might figure out if I looked close enough, that could foretell what followed the snap of the shutter?” Here is where a dream, vision, or actual contact with a spirit may give you the necessary clues that must be pursued in order to answer these questions.
Carlos consults with one of his psychic friends and is informed that the woman and the man in the photo are both in danger. The woman believes she is pregnant and fears that she may die before bearing the child. There is danger all around them but she does not know its form. It may be human or it many be evil power. As for the man, he promised the woman riches, but she fears she may die first. He is also informed by another of his sources that the woman in the photo will draw him back, and her fears will become his. What is more surprising to Carlos is he will not only be seeking one parent but rather two, as both are missing. Moreover, if he finds one parent, the search for the other one will be dangerous.
Exploiting the dark menace of the supernatural as well as lurid dreams, Superstition is a fast paced harrowing tale that not only you can't put it down, but you don't dare put it down, as it unravels through a series of increasingly hair pin twists and turns. Johnston's principal strength is his ability in knowing how to cast a spell that forces not only the narrator to uncover the truth, but also makes the reader eager to come along for the ride. His protagonist, Carlos is quite endearing and witty, although at times he seems to be quite a bungler. Nonetheless, he does manage to unravel the mystery with some very startling revelations. This is a great read and I look forward to hearing more from Charlie H. Johnson Jr.