NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Raising by Laura Kasischke

4.0 out of 5 stars Sinister and gothic, a fun "ghost" story..., April 6, 2011
This was definitely a fast-paced, suspenseful mystery set on the campus of an unnamed Midwestern university. The main characters: beautiful Omega Theta Tau sorority sisters Nicole and Josie and their friends -- Godwin Honors Hall roommates Craig and Perry. Nicole is dating Craig when they are involved in a car accident one night. Shelley Lockes (the director of the college Chamber Music Society) comes upon the accident and calls 911. She's sent away from the site after reassuring herself that both of the victims were OK but finds out later that Nicole was declared dead and burned beyond recognition at the scene. Hmmmmm. She tries to contact police and the local papers to correct the story and straighten out the record, but no one follows through. A year later, Josie, Perry and Craig return to campus. The sorority is draped in black, mourning their lost sister and taunting "killer" Craig. He's a mess, can't remember any details about the wreck or its aftermath, and is barely getting through school. His roommate Perry takes a class from Professor Mira Polson -- an anthropologist and expert on cultural aspects of death, in order to try to make sense of all that happened.

Told in shifting perspectives of time and point of view, the novel takes the reader back to the early days at college when Nicole was still alive and through an amazingly complicated story that packs a powerful punch. College romance, manipulation, Greek rituals and hazings -- possibly even outright murder! The tension mounts as people close to discovering the truth find themselves run out of town, discredited, and embarrassed. What did happen the night of the car accident -- is it possible that Nicole did not die or is it her ghost that is haunting her former friends Craig and Perry. And why is Josie acting so strange?

A fun "ghost" story that I think any mystery fan will enjoy! Recommended.

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