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The Third Eye by Andrew Seewald and Jacqueline Seewald
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432826987
Date: 11 September 2013 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Jim Spencer, a teenager, finds himself and his family involved in murder as they settle into the Barrens, the childhood home of his mother Ariel. She is haunted by a tragedy that occurred in her youth and is now determined to face those involved until murder intervenes. This young adult mystery follows Jim and Ariel as they each struggle in their own ways to face life and survive.

Smart and determined to fight his own battles, Jim stands up to the school bully. Brashness causes problems, but intelligence and his older brother help. The brother, Rae, short for Raven, has the ‘third eye', the ability to sense when Jim is in over his head and to size up people and their motives.

Attracted to Mary Clements, a girl taller than him, Jim is uncertain how to handle his feelings. Her aunt, Jane Warren, asks them to deliver a plate of cookies to her sister, Nora Butler, the housekeeper at the Warren family home, now owned by Mr. Sawyer, a distant cousin of the Warrens.

Nora gives Jim a box to give to his mother. When Ariel opens it, she finds a journal dating from the War of Independence by a forebearer named Hannah Warren. The diary fascinates Ariel, but gives her nightmares. Dr. Rudd, her psychiatrist, advises her that she needs to remember those dreams and face her fears. As Ariel works with Dr. Rudd, long suppressed memories surface concerning her father and mother.

When Jane next sends Jim and Mary to visit Nora, they find her corpse on the path. Suspicion falls on Ariel when the police learn she and Nora argued shortly before the murder. Jim is desperate to clear his mother's name.

Teens will easily identify with Jim and his struggle to find his place in the world. The mystery contains hints of spookiness and the paranormal, but other than the murders, should not offend most parents. Finding the killer and learning Ariel's secrets is more than sufficient for most mystery readers. All in all, a recommended read.

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