Rad Fox, a boy who lives with his widowed mother on the Blackwater River, and Dr. Jordan Mason, a family friend who is visiting, discover an evil presence at the old Granger House. The twins, Will and Johnny come to visit Linc and Johnny is stricken with acute appendicitis. In this multi-layered mystery, Linc, once again, shows the value of his skills in Blackwater Swamp.
In my nearly 50-year career as a writer of novels and non-fiction books, stage plays, television and movie scripts, and hundreds of magazine travel and adventure articles, children’s fiction is just about the only genre of scribbling I have never had a go at. Reading Allen Johnson Jr.’s The Dead House makes me wish I had.
The novel is a true page-turner, with an expertly crafted story and vivid characters. But its real magic resides in its pitch-perfect evocation of boyhood, and sense of place and period. Johnson makes his story and characters come to life on the page, and transports you into a gripping tale set so compellingly into its time and place that it is as much a wrench to return to your own as it is for the tale to end. And that, my friends, is the very definition of an exceptionally good novel, for any age reader. Enjoy it!