Newly revised and re-edited 2014 edition
Bill and Rebecca Moore are an ordinary middle-aged couple raising two children in suburban Connecticut when an unsuccessful attempt on Rebecca's life by a mysterious stranger leaves her with an extreme case of post-traumatic stress. To help her recover, Bill suggests a move to southern California where they buy and renovate an old house in a posh neighborhood. It seems, however, that the house hosts a particularly persistent ghost named Ronny, an ex-actor who apparently has emerged from the small private cemetery adjacent to the backyard. When both children disappear from the house with no sign of forced entry, LAPD gumshoe Ed Van Allen suspects the Moores of murder, although Rebecca gamely tries to convince him the ghost did it. Turning the implausible into the possible as the case unfolds, alternately amusing and frightening, Hynd lets the evidence build to a genuinely terrifying climax that features earthbound criminals as well as a not-so-subtle example of divine retribution.