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Book review: 'Twisted Fate' is a trio of suspenseful tales

Published: Sunday, Aug. 10 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

"TWISTED FATE: Three Stories of Suspense," by Traci Hunter Abramson, Gregg Luke, Stephanie Black, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 312 pages (f)

The trio of short stories in "Twisted Fate" aren't ghost stories, but each has an element of suspense that keeps the reader guessing about what will happen next and who might be in trouble.

"Hunted" is about a mistreated teenager who not only succeeds in getting away from her tormentors but ends up in a nearly ideal situation.

The suspense comes from wondering if she and her new parents can keep the bad guys from killing her so she won't reveal what she knows about their plans to bomb a building.

It's a somewhat predictable story with a Mormon edge as Reagan — the 13-year-old — is introduced to a lifestyle of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and fits right in.

Her new mom and dad have infertility challenges, so it's very convenient to have a ready-made daughter show up on the porch.

Other than that, it's a mildly readable story written by LDS author Traci Hunter Abramson, a Brigham Young University graduate and former CIA agent.

"The Death House" is a tale about a creepy old house that no sane teenager would want to visit.

It's next door to Adam's house in Snakeleg.

When a pretty girl with strange eyes and a hostile attitude comes to town, Adam, a nerdy but unapologetic teen, is intrigued. He ends up teaming up with her to explore the old mansion. His other friends don't dare.

"The Death House" is all of the things a haunted house is suspected to be with secrets, scary images and hidden dangers. The ending is a surprise.

This story, written by Gregg Luke, an LDS writer/pharmacist who lives in Logan, would be a good story to share on a campout.

"Haunting Reminders" keeps the reader guessing until the very last chapter.

Jamie's former fiance and his pregnant wife have a mysterious stalker. Jamie doesn't know why she is being set up and how the tormentor is managing to do it so well.

Jamie just wants to manage "The Treasure Chest" in her beloved Britteredge and can't seem to stop the escalating amount of evidence being manufactured against her: a ghost bride visiting the woman who married the man she was planning to wed, the warning letters, the forged wedding announcement.

It makes for a spooky tale written by Utah native Stephanie Black.

All three stories are clean, free of graphic violence and written without any sexual references.

Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years' experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.

Email: haddoc@deseretnews.com

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