Before she was a writer, D.M. Pulley was a professional engineer rehabbing historic structures and conducting forensic investigations of building failures. Her debut novel, The Dead Key (2015) won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Since then, she has penned her second and third novel, The Buried Book (2016). And The Unclaimed Victim (2017). Her next offer, No One’s Home is available September 1, 2019.
The year is 2018, we will call this the present time. The Spielman’s are trying to set new roots and start a new life, coming across this property, the Rawlingswood, and a real-estate agent eager to make a sale for a mansion that has been sitting idly for two years. Myron, a doctor is excited by the potential this place is, Margot, his wife is a bit freaked out but ultimately gives in. The agent trying her best to remain optimistic, selling the old house as a fixer-upper and grossly neglected as of late. Myron as I mentioned is very excited and knows a property like that would be a couple of million if not more in their current home state of Boston. As they conclude their walk through, the moment of truth comes for the real-estate agent, she is obviously required to disclose any and all information about the past, as she tells them the history, she just as quickly dismisses them as rumors and any discussions regarding past murders, hauntings and misfortunes were quickly diminished as urban legends.
Then all the sudden, without warning, this novel takes you back in time to 1929. Here we meet The Rawlings Family. By the name and time, it’s safe to assume these are the home’s first owners, first occupants, first victims maybe. Here we get a small glimpse into the times, back when people could be buried in a private grave on your property, we also learn that the nation’s financial market is currently in flux, and Walter, the man of the house had built this amazing house on borrowed money and uncertain investments.
Back to present time, the Spielman’s hire a contractor to gut the house and almost immediately anything that could go wrong, does. From mold and asbestos, to broken water lines, to certain specialists straight up quitting after seeing the extent of the job they had to do. On top of that, workers were injured and made trips to the ER. The contractor Max, had a saying, “we can get it done fast, or get it done well or get it done cheap but not all three.” But Margot was adamant about moving into the house before their son Hunter started school. The construction workers even brought a woman they called a witch but turned out to be a psychic of sorts to cleanse the place, and she stormed off spooked.
The time is 2009, the Martin family is currently living at the Rawlingswood mansion. Ava Martin, the ten-year-old living there is a little different from other kids her age and as she starts to play, she whispers to an imaginary friend named Claudia. For 15 minutes they have a conversation and as her foster dad is watching her play her favorite game of pretend, he can’t help but wonder is she’s pretending or is she possessed.
The Spielman’s moved in and are in awe at the transformation of the place, yet the workers were so rushed that many corners were cut and on a closer inspection many areas missed, including Hunter’s closet, their teenage son. As Hunter is noticing notes that haven’t been painted over in the wall of his closet, some so small he could barely read them, some so big, he had to take a step back. Majority of the notes were about a dead girl and a boy named Benny.
The time is 1980, the Klaussman Family is living here at this time and we’re quickly introduced to their son, Benny. We quickly learn that Mr. and Mrs. Klaussman are having marital issues and are even sleeping in separate bedrooms and Benny, the source of many of their arguments is a special needs child.
Back in the present time, we start to learn more about the Spielman’s history, their secrets, their lives they don’t want anyone to know about. Issues from the past, loss, secret’s they’re keeping from each other. Then we jump back to 1929, and Walter Rawlings just learned the stock market crashed, “investors panic.” Each family is beginning to feel the affects of this house, driving them further and further apart.
After all the introductions were made, each time span dwelled a bit on each family’s current life. Getting to know them a bit. Learning some of their secrets, getting to know them more and more. Some small but initially brushed off instances where something abnormal occurs, a noise in the attic, a light left on, voices heard. Each time early in the book were dismissed, sometime investigated briefly, but ultimately dropped and they moved on. But then, some more unexplainable things start to occur and Hunter, with this being 2018 and him a pretty tech savvy teenager, he placed a camera in his room when he caught his mom going through his stuff. From there, things escalate to the point to where me as the reader started questioning every strange noise I heard in my house. While not a typical type of novel you’d see on Lima Charlie’s reading list, it was a fun read, I highly recommend it.
Author: D.M. Pulley
Series: Standalone novel
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: September 1, 2019
Follow D.M. Pulley on Twitter: @DMPulleyAuthor
Lima Charlie Rating: A BLAST RADIUS OF: A MOAB (8/10) – Massive Ordnance Air Blast -AKA- Mother of all Bombs. Largely known as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the US Military inventory. It has a blast radius of one mile, meaning it demolishes everything within 1 square mile.
About the Author
D.M. Pulley lives in northeast Ohio with her husband, her two children, and a dog named Hobo. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a Professional Engineer rehabbing historic structures and conducting forensic investigations of building failures. Pulley’s structural survey of a vacant building in Cleveland inspired her debut novel, The Dead Key, the winner of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Since then, Pulley has sold over a half a million books worldwide, and her work has been translated into eight different languages.
Pulley’s historical mysteries shine a light into the darker side of life in the Midwest during the twentieth century, when cities like Detroit and Cleveland struggled to survive. Her latest novel, No One’s Home (due out September 1, 2019), unravels the disturbing history of an old mansion haunted by family secrets, financial ruin, and murder. The abandoned buildings, haunted houses, and buried past of the Rust Belt continue to inspire her work.