Lia, 15, is against her mother's plan to move the family to Graymoss, a plantation house in Bogne City, Louisiana, where she and Lia's father plan to adopt a dozen children and turn the house into a group home. Lia, a timid bookworm, is fond of her status as only child, and painfully aware that she is unlike the other women in her family, a brave and adventurous lot dating all the way back to Charlotte Blevins, who lived in Graymoss during the Civil War. She's been told that the house is haunted--possessed by evil spirits that whisper and shriek and push people down stairs--and apparently no one in Bogue City will set foot in the house after dark. Lia hopes that her mother's plans will disintegrate once she's seen for herself the terrors the house holds. In the end, though, it's Lia who has a change of heart and musters her courage to drive the evil from Graymoss. Nixon (Murdered, My Sweet, 1997, etc.) creates a spooky setting fairly dripping in atmosphere, then spins an ever-tightening thread of tension. The ghosts in this story are compelling, although Lia is less so: Her reversal in feelings about the potential adoptees, after one sentimental meeting, is a bit slick. Nevertheless, fans will find the final exorcism of the ghost riveting.