In the wake of her father’s murder, Bridget Liu hears the voices of departed souls and performs exorcisms with two of the priests from her parochial high school. Porcelain figurines thrash about and shatter under the influence of otherworldly entities in a doll shop, where Bridget begins to understand benevolent spirits are trying to reach her amid a cacophony of evil. The unlikely assistance of her 8-year-old brother sheds light on the muddled messages they transmit, and even tougher to believe is the ease with which Bridget scores a visit with her father’s killer, a schizophrenic psych-ward inmate to whom the specters direct her. Their convoluted warnings about the ill intentions of a priest don’t leave much room for surprise, despite a planted red herring. Weak character development among supporting cast members such as Bridget’s school friends undermines any sense of loss when one turns up dead, though Bridget’s blossoming romance with a baseball player from another school flutters the heartstrings appropriately.
Readers for whom spooky encounters and brushes with violence suffice in the absence of rich characterization and fool-proof logistics will race through the pages. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)