A first novel.
Harvard's Adams House has a checkered past--ghosts in the attic, shadowy tunnels under the basement, and a history of student suicides and murders. The present isn't much sunnier, especially for the nameless protagonist, a senior plagued by memories of his freshman roommate's death and haunted by a specter who's got a few scores to settle before he quits this earthly realm for good. Author Sean Desmond, a Harvard graduate, takes us deep inside the drug and spirit-ridden head of his main character, who's got girlfriend troubles as well as a thesis to finish, a guilty secret to hide, and a problem or two with reality. It doesn't endear us to this overprivileged twit, but it adds to the Gothic atmosphere, which is laid on with a heavy hand. The ghost from the past is a much more interesting figure. He's a vindictive playboy with charm that doesn't quite equal his prescience in choosing a target whose descent into madness--and maybe murder--is horrifyingly depicted. In this, his debut novel, Desmond shows signs of an emerging talent. Unfortunately it's not fully realized in this somewhat muddled, though exceptionally creepy, tale.
Source: Jane Adams, Amazon.com.