Deep and Dark and Dangerous

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-05-21
  • Publisher: Clarion Books
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Just before summer begins, 13-year-old Ali finds an odd photograph in the attic. She knows the two children in it are her mother, Claire, and her aunt Dulcie. But who's the third person, the one who's been torn out of the picture? Ali figures she'll find out while she's vacationing in Maine with Dulcie and her four-year-old daughter, Emma, in the house where Ali's mother's family used to spend summers. All hopes for relaxation are quashed shortly after their arrival, though, when the girls meet Sissy, a kid who's mean and spiteful and a bad influence on Emma. Strangest of all, Sissy keeps talking about a girl named Teresa who drowned under mysterious circumstances back when Claire and Dulcie were kids, and whose body was never found. At first Ali thinks Sissy's just trying to scare her with a ghost story, but soon she discovers the real reason why Sissy is so angry. . . . Mary Downing Hahn is at her chilling best in this new supernatural tale that's certain to send shivers down her readers'spines.

Author Biography

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Deep and Dark and Dangerous and The Old Willis Place. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her two cats, Oscar and Rufus.


Chapter 1 One rainy Saturday in March, I opened a box of books Mom had brought home from Grandmother"s house. Although Grandmother had been dead for five years, no one had unpacked any of the boxes. They"d been sitting in the attic collecting dust, their contents a mystery. Hoping to find something to read, I started pulling out books-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Misty of Chincoteague, and at least a dozen Nancy Drew mysteries. At thirteen, I"d long since outgrown Carolyn Keene"s plots, but I opened one at random, The Bungalow Mystery, and began flipping the pages, laughing at the corny descriptions: "Nancy, blue eyed, and with reddish glints in her blonde hair," "Helen Corning, dark-haired and petite." The two girls were in a small motorboat on a lake, a storm was coming, and soon they were in big trouble. Just as I was actually getting interested in the plot, I turned a page and found a real-life mystery: a torn photograph. In faded shades of yellow and green, Mom"s older sister, Dulcie, grinned into the camera, her teeth big in her narrow face, her hair a tangled mop of tawny curls. Next to her, Mom looked off to the side, her long straight hair drawn back in a ponytail, eyes downcast, unsmiling, clearly unhappy. Dulcie was about eleven, I guessed, and Mom nine or ten. Behind the girls was water-a lake, I assumed. Pressed against Dulcie"s other side, I could make out an arm, a shoulder, and a few strands of long hair, just enough for me to know it was a girl. The rest of her had been torn away. I turned the photo over, hoping to find the girl"s name written on the back. There was Grandmother"s neat, schoolteacherly handwriting: "Gull Cottage, 1977. Dulcie, Claire, and T-." Like her face, the rest of the girl"s name was missing. Alone in the attic, I stared at the arm and shoulder. T . . . Tanya, Tonia, Traci, Terri. So many T names to choose from. Which was hers? Putting the photo back in the book, I ran downstairs to ask Mom about Gull Cottage, the lake, and the girl. I found her in the kitchen chopping onions for the vegetable casserole she was fixing for dinner. Standing there, head down, she wore the same expression caught in the photograph. Not surprising. She always looked sad, even when she wasn"t. I waved the photograph. "Look what I found-a picture of you and Dulcie at a lake somewhere. And another girl-" Mom snatched the photograph, her face suddenly flushed. "Where did you get this?" She acted as if I"d been rummaging through her purse, her bureau drawers, the medicine cabinet, looking for secrets. I backed away, startled by her reaction. "It fell out of your old book." I held up The Bungalow Mystery. "It was in one of those boxes you brought back from Grandmother"s house. Look, here"s your name." I pointed to "Claire Thornton, 1977," written in a childish scrawl on the inside cover. Mom stared at the photograph as if I hadn"t spoken. "I was sure I"d thrown this away." "Who"s the girl sitting beside Dulcie?" I asked, unable to restrain my curiosity. "Me," Mom said without raising her eyes. "No, I mean on the other side, where it"s ripped." I pointed. "See her arm and her shoulder? On the back Grandmother wrote T, but the rest of her name was on the torn part." "I don"t remember another girl." Mom gripped the photo and shook her head. "At the lake, it was always Dulcie and me, just Dulcie and me. Nobody else." At that moment, Dad came through the kitchen do

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