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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling...A MUST read page-turner!
Angel Sullivan has always been the outcast, suffering the taunts of cruel schoolmates and the wild fits of an alcoholic father. Things for Angel's family have hit rock bottom until a call from her aunt has them moving to a new town and making a fresh start.
In the town of Roundtree, Massachusetts a beautiful home awaits, a home that is selling at a steal of a price,...
Published on March 16, 2004 by Nick G

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Early Days of John Saul
I have been a fan of John Saul's books for many years but found that his "children in peril" theme was getting a little stale.
I was pleased to see that he was changing his style with his previous two novels "Midnight Voices" and "Manhattan Hunt Club", both of which I gave 5 stars.
In "Black Creek Crossing", he is back to...
Published on June 7, 2004 by Noranne G


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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling...A MUST read page-turner!, March 16, 2004
This review is from: Black Creek Crossing (Hardcover)
Angel Sullivan has always been the outcast, suffering the taunts of cruel schoolmates and the wild fits of an alcoholic father. Things for Angel's family have hit rock bottom until a call from her aunt has them moving to a new town and making a fresh start.
In the town of Roundtree, Massachusetts a beautiful home awaits, a home that is selling at a steal of a price, there is only one problem...the house at Black Creek Crossing holds a murderous secret.
Seth Baker lives in Roundtree and, much the same as Angel, he too is the outcast of his schoolmates, as well the victim of a psychically abusive father. Seth does his best to deal with his father, but finds sanctuary in photograph taking, until he meets Angel.
As Seth and Angel become better friends, Seth tells her of the deadly legacy surrounding her home and the rumors of supernatural possession that still dwells there. Angel, desperate for the truth about Black Creek Crossing, uncovers a centuries-old horror that lies within her home's walls.
Now, that Angel and Seth have uncovered the dark secrets buried in Roundtree, they find themselves trapped in a maelstrom of desire and violence that will erupt in unspeakable tragedy.
`Black Creek Crossing' is a chilling page-turner that begs to be read in one sitting. From the shocking opening to the explosive climax the plot speeds along with unstoppable force. Vivid gothic descriptions and likable characters combined with creepy scares will hold readers breathless until the final page has been turned.
John Saul is THE master of the horror novel, there is absolutely no one better. His novels are always original, well written, fast-paced and expertly plotted.
Expect to see `Black Creek Crossing' at the top of the bestseller lists for it's one of John Saul's best novels.
A MUST read!
Nick Gonnella
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Early Days of John Saul, June 7, 2004
By 
Noranne G "spookiemagic" (Las Vegas, NV United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Creek Crossing (Hardcover)
I have been a fan of John Saul's books for many years but found that his "children in peril" theme was getting a little stale.
I was pleased to see that he was changing his style with his previous two novels "Midnight Voices" and "Manhattan Hunt Club", both of which I gave 5 stars.
In "Black Creek Crossing", he is back to his old style and I am rather disappointed. This is so similar to his older books, that I thought I was re-reading one of them! Although this is not a bad story, hopefully Mr. Saul will continue to address adults in peril suspense and not totally regress to his previous type of story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Keeps your interest, but then disappoints at the end., July 20, 2004
By 
This review is from: Black Creek Crossing (Hardcover)
I found this book to be interesting until the last few chapters. It almost seems as though the author tired of writing the book and decided to just wrap everything up quickly at the end. I was so disappointed that after reading this book for hours that the ending just didn't satisfy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book could have been better...1 and a 1/2 stars, June 30, 2004
This review is from: Black Creek Crossing (Hardcover)
It is with a heavy heart that I am giving a favorite author of mine this low of a rating. BCC is actually a 1 and a 1/2 star book, but since there are no 1/2s, I give it 2 stars. I have been reading John Saul for 14 years now and must say he has written some of the finest horror novels I have ever read. He has a style all his own and feel that anyone who is looking to read a good horror book, they will find it with this author, but NOT with BLACK CREEK CROSSING.
BCC has a lot of the same similarities to his older books, girl who is outcast by people in school, at least one of her parents rejects her, she gets befriended by something evil, and then evil is unleashed.
The only, and I mean only, difference in this book is the ending, but when it happened, I wasn't blown away or anything. BCC does not have any build up of suspense whatsoever and you actually have to read about 2/3 of the book before anything takes off. And when I say take off, it's more of a cough and a sputter. When Angela and Seth begin to dabble in witchcraft, it is such a disappointment because John could have built it up and created such a dark atmosphere, but he doesnt. What he does do successfully with BCC is tell you instead of show you. Anyone who reads horror or any book for that matter, wants to be shown, NOT TOLD. You almost feel as if John was bored writing this book and I promise you will be bored reading it. I found myslef skimming so much towards the end because I just wanted to move on to another book.
In the last few years, John has written some of his best books, EVER! BLACKSTONE CHRONICLES, THE PRESENCE, THE RIGHT HAND OF EVIL, NIGHTSHADE, and MIDNIGHT VOICES. BCC is a huge step back...WAY BACK... and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that this was a book he probably started many, many years ago, and didnt have anything to give his publisher this time around so he decided to pull this one out, dust it off, and turn it in.
You can skip BCC, but don't write John Saul off just yet, I'm confident he will produce another chiller soon.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So many ways to ruin a novel..., June 17, 2005
By 
Blueisis69 (Urbana, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
I just finished this book and was so disappointed in the ending that I couldn't even close my mouth from shock...the shock of spending $7.99 on it!

Mr. Saul takes us in so many directions with this one. Just from reading the back cover you would think this a "haunted house" novel, but in reading this-and here are some ****SPOILERS****

it turns into a haunted witch tale without much back story. What I wanted to know is why people go crazy from living in this house? Was it the "Evil" that was lurking there, or was it because of the "witches" that lived there hundreds of years ago?

Speaking of evil, um, aren't there child protective services in Roundtree? I mean come ON! The only real evil I saw was the alcoholic, abusive, pedophilic Father of the main character, Angel, and the abusive, sadonic father of her best friend.

I wasn't scared reading this book, correction, I was scared-scared of buying another John Saul book...

Read it for yourself if you wish, but the back cover description is misleading...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not his best work, April 10, 2004
By 
This review is from: Black Creek Crossing (Hardcover)
I've been reading John Saul's books since I was a teenager. I think perhaps I would have liked this one better back then. The writing style and plot seemed very juvenile to me, along the lines of an R.L. Stine book. Younger fans might enjoy this book, but it didn't hold my interest at all. Toward the end of the book, I was scanning through paragraphs quickly just to filter out the main plot and get it over with.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars LOOK ELSEWHERE ANGEL, May 31, 2004
By 
This review is from: Black Creek Crossing (Hardcover)
This is the prolific Mr. Saul's thirty-first book; it shows. It's tired, it's rehash of several of Saul's earlier books in which mistreated teens seek revenge on their tormentors. And it's not even as well done as those earlier works.
We meet Angel Sullivan, an overweight, unattractive 15 year old who suffers endless torment from both boys and girls in her school. Never mind the fact that Angie has little backbone and how can one feel sorry for somebody who doesn't take up for herself, or take advantage of the talents she has? She teams up with Seth Baker, another tormented teen (the boys call him "Beth"), and he too takes the guff without any resistance. Suffice to say, his bully father still beats him with a belt? Come on, Saul, this is antiquated stuff. Angie's mother Myra is a religious fanatic, seeing visions of the Virgin Mary, and allowing her drunken abusive husband to abuse both her and Angel. We have the typical stud villains and of course the catty female wenches to keep harassing the two misfits. Of course, they stumble upon a secret place (led there by the irrepressible Houdini, a black cat that just appears in Angel's room). We have the legend of witches and murders happening in the house at Black Creek Crossing, and we have not one original sequence in the book. At the improbable resolution, we don't even have the satisfaction of all the tormentors getting their just desserts, except the parents of course.
I've always thought John Saul must have had a horrible childhood. All of these teen books smell of abuse, loneliness and revenge. Not a nice way to spend the evening, especially when it's done so pedestrian as in BLACK CREEK CROSSING.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Have I read this before????, August 7, 2005
This review is from: Black Creek Crossing (Hardcover)
First of all, I find it hard to believe that some people think John Saul is the "absolute best" and the "king of horror" - ?? I am no stranger to his works, I own the majority of them, albeit in paperback, as I don't consider him good enough to warrant me spending $30 bucks on one of his novels. But I do tend to read most of them. Some are pretty entertaining, such as his earlier works like 'Nathaniel' and 'Hellfire'.

He does seem to have a pre-occupation with writing about children and teens, which, to me, "dumbs-down" his writing. How about some adult main characters - give it a rest with the children who don't fit in, have a ghostly secret, grew up poor, abused, sad and wretched, etc. I guess that is his main forte.

Anyway, the book had a fairly good (but totally over-used) plot. You know, the old haunted house on the edge of town with a secret past, etc..etc.. And who hasn't wanted to find an old book of witchcraft and create havoc in the lives of your worst enemies? Of course that would be fun. But haven't we seen (and read) all this before? I certainly have. Let's get some originality here, please. I am not sure if I will pick up Saul's next offering in paperback or not, after this bore-fest.

Put it this way, if you are say, under 14, you'll probably love it. Go for it. For anyone over 14 - this is JUST NOT SCARY ENOUGH!

In regards to Saul in general, Stephen King he isn't! Heck, he isn't even Dean Koontz, who in my opinion leans toward mediocre as well. If you really want to read some scary stuff, pick up any one of Peter Straub's books - I recommend "Ghost Story" highly - or read some H.P.Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Richard Matheson, or of course, in MY opinion the true 'King of Horror' and you know who that is, right? Case closed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This story was much better when Stephen King wrote it and called it "Carrie", January 23, 2006
By 
David "Indiscriminate Reader" (Halethorpe, MD, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This a horror story without much horror. The hauntings are strictly pro forma, as are the obligatory abusive parents and school bullies. "Black Creek Crossing" has few original story elements, and even the spirit-infested house has few descriptions worthy of even a tingle.

The two teenaged protagonists are your typical picked-on outcasts who spend most of the book being tormented alternately at school and at home, until they discover witchcraft and start dishing out payback. The rest of the story proceeds in utterly predictable fashion.

No thrills, no chills, and it was hard to feel sorry for any of the characters. The ending was straight out of any Hollywood made-for-sequels horror movie. I can't recommend this book unless you're looking for a lightweight and completely forgettable horror novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding ;), February 3, 2006
By 
Tigerlily (Pennsylvania) - See all my reviews
The story centers around Angel Sullivan, whose family has just moved into the house at Black Creek Crossing. Sinister, and macabre stories about the history of this house abound throughout the town. Despite all of these murmurings, Angel's family has purchased the house in an attempt to make a fresh start in a new location.

Angel, hoping to escape the taunts of classmates from her prior school by virtue of her 'new student' status, anxiously ventures to school, only to find that nothing has changed. In fact, things are much worse; the students at this school are even crueler than their predecessor's. In fact, Angel's own cousin, Zack, is the instigator of a lot of the teasing. Instead of taking Angel under his wing and helping her to transition smoothly into her new environment, he does the exact opposite, and does everything he can to make sure she doesn't fit in. Angel is then befriended by Seth, a fellow pariah, and their budding friendship is even more fodder for the popular clique.

As Angel and Seth's friendship develops, he tells her the history of her house as he knows it. Together, they seek to discover the real truths behind the rumors, with terrible consequences. The old spellbook they find is the catalyst that sets everything into motion.

I really liked this book, even though I was able to figure out part of it. However, there are a couple of things I take issue with. One being, the misuse of the word 'aorta' towards the end of the book. I'm surprised an editor, much less John Saul himself, missed that. I don't want to give the ending away.. but suffice it to say, your aorta isn't in your neck(!!). I was really enjoying the book until I got to that point, and then I was very disappointed. So, that's partly why I'm giving it 4 stars.

Another reason is the amount of teasing that Seth and Angel endure. I realize it's an integral part of the story, but I felt there was a little too much teasing, etc, and was getting a little annoyed by it as the book progressed. Other than those issues, I liked the book a lot.
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Black Creek Crossing
Black Creek Crossing by John Saul (Hardcover - March 16, 2004)
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