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Acoustic Shadow

Ratings:
Length: 876 pages14 hours

Summary

Jack Elliott, a brilliant young Oxford professor and unknowing participant in a deadly karma, triggers the beginning of the acoustic shadow with his arrival in Frederick, Maryland where he secretly searches for the truth behind Jeremy's death, a captain in the 146th Civil War reenactment of Antietam. But the truth, he soon discovers, proves as elusive as the town's ghosts and paranormal events still haunting Frederick and the old Claiborne house where Jeremy unearthed something the night before he died. With only a few weeks left in his year-long absence at Oxford, he turns to the only friend he trusts, precocious twelve-year-old Tub Richardson, who introduces him to Charlotte, a third year medical student newly arrived from New York to sell her inherited Claiborne house. It's not just any house, Jack quickly informs her as he seizes his very last opportunity to solve Jeremy's murder, but the town's famous Claiborne house where the tragic murder of Annie Claiborne occurred 146 years ago this very month. Intent on easily manipulating the innocent girl to get at the Claiborne house secrets, Jack convinces her to move into that house for his final two weeks in Frederick, though the reportedly haunted house may prove as deadly to her as it was to Jeremy.

Charlotte quickly uncovers what Jack desperately needs, the key to Frederick's past and possibly its present–Annie Claiborne's diary. But she jealously guards the diary's secrets as it begins to show her just how closely she and Jack are repeating the same events between Annie Claiborne and her childhood love, Broderick Tyne. It's a deadly ending, Charlotte knows, because legend holds Major Broderick Tyne guilty for the murder of Annie Claiborne and others.
The first murder, Jack desperately confesses one year later to his most dazzling Oxford student, Tyler Dorn, is the reason he left Frederick. He may be guilty of the murder and is fearful of committing more. Tyler lends his brilliant mind in unraveling the unbelievable events in Maryland and in one long night at Oxford, Tyler exhaustedly proposes an explanation that Professor Elliott can't ignore. "What would happen if an acoustic shadow wasn't a matter of distance, but a factor of time? Suppose a vibration was created by an event so passionate or so evil that its energy skipped off its own time and like an exploding cannon ball, bounced far down the line, fifty or even a hundred years away where others could hear it perfectly? You might be able to hear someone else's echoes perfectly well, feel emotions so strongly that its waves would overpower your own thoughts, make you feel things, want things, even do things when in fact...you didn't."

To prove his theory, Tyler returns to Frederick with Jack to play out the rest of the acoustic shadow which Tyler believes is surely waiting. Only now it's clear that they may not only be hearing the voices of 1862, they may be those same voices of 1862. The question now, Tyler rapidly reasons is, if you know your own ending would you make the same mistakes you made over a century ago? The forces in Frederick prevents anyone from leaving until each person answers that question and uncovers either the innocence or the horror within themselves that has been there all along.

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