Stehle's Door

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Not the typical haunted house story with lingering ghosts of past residents, the ghosts in Stehle's Door can relocate causing bad dreams, having grotesque manifestations, and worse. A chilling, compelling story of two adolescents who fight the unpredictable with risk and determination. The movement to another realm appealed to me as in The Sixth Sense and I liked the confiding between kids which was reminiscent of the book The Other.

Mariann S.

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The book begins with the death of an old man, Stehle, by drowning. However this drowning takes place in the first floor of a house, and the reader realizes immediately that he is onto something horrifying. He is right: Everything is not as it seems in the novel. And the feeling escalates as horror upon horror is perpetuated throughout the novel.

The story deals with a packet of letters that the siblings of old man, Stehle, Alex and Pauli, buy at a flea market. These letters were purportedly written during the Civil War and should be of more interest to historians than to the supernatural-minded. However the letters are not ordinary letters but actually portals to a world of ghosts and evil spirits. It does not take the siblings long to realize this, and they set out to stop the evil coming out. To do this they decide to burn the letters; however, the packet has disappeared by that time. Realizing that similar portals are present elsewhere in the world, they set off to destroy them. But this adventure is a lot more dangerous than what they bargained for. So do they succeed in their mission?

William M. O'Brien Jr., for a first time novelist, succeeds in creating an atmosphere of foreboding and horror. With the characterization of two teenagers as protagonists, the story reminds one of horror cult classic films like "The Blair Witch Project" and "Jeepers Creepers". A must read for not only horror fiction fans, but also for those interested in thrillers.


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Stehle's Door begins with the demise of old man Stehle--and then proceeds to tell you how and why it happened.
This novel combines authentic Civil War history with a present-day setting in Galveston, Texas, with loads of real-life landmarks, helping to give the fictional story a true-to-life feel.

The main characters are teenagers, so this book might appeal to that age group, as well as to adults. Mr. O'Brien has a very readable style of writing, which enables the reader to move at a steady pace through the novel without bogging down.

The climax has an interesting twist--not all is as it seems to be. Enjoy.


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I'm usually not a fan of horror novels, but this one was very enjoyable. After I would read a few chapters, the slightest sound would make me jump. That is how scared I was. My english teacher is an excellent writer.

John H.

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I did not put this book down until I was so scared that I couldn't take anymore. This is an exceptional novel and will capture your attention until the final sentence. This is one of the best novels I have ever read. I finished the book three days ago and am still scared to sleep. I can't wait for another novel by O'Brien.


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