The Killing Room
Pinnacle, May 2010, $6.99
For nine years and three hundred and sixty-four days, the Young Mansion in Maine is an ordinary home. The room that remains locked always is quiet except on the first day of a new decade. A sacrifice of a family member must be made so every ten years a lottery is held and the selected one is left inside the room.
This has been going on since 1930 with everyone who spent time in the room dead except for one survivor. Since the room is locked, the other family members assume the people commit suicide except for that one female who lived, but her mind was fried and spent four decades inside a padded cell. The patriarch Howard Young hires former FBI Agent Carolyn Cartwright who has dealt with supernatural cases to find a way to break the curse. Carolyn knows her first step is to learn what happened in 1930 in that room and the second step is to pray she and the Young family survive the truth.
Readers will thoroughly enjoy the locked room mystery inside a haunted house tale reminiscent of early King and Koontz. There is a steady growing tension as the answers to the cause percolates, but the solution seems to never boil to the surface. John Manning provides the audience with a chilling tale as the heroine knows there is only one way to learn the truth.