• The Haunting of Suzanna Blackwell

    by Richard Setlowe

    Holt Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1984

    ISBN 0-03-057786-1     Buy This Book

  •  Variety 

    The temptation, at first, is to call "The Haunting of Suzanna Blackwell," by Richard Setlowe…, a real, old-fashioned ghost story. But it's more than that. Perhaps it might be better described as an old-fashioned ghost story updated.

    Its principle characters are mixed-up, neurotic types present-day San Francisco. Suzanna, of the title, is haunted by her mother's lost love. Her father, Navy commandant at Mare Island, is haunted by the men who died on his ship in World War II. Her lover, TV producer Michael Lowenstein, is haunted by those he saw die as a cameraman in Vietnam.

    And it is just memories or neuroses which haunt these contemporary folks. It is real ghosts, which do strange and sometimes horrid deeds, all described in hair-raising detail. Setlowe manages to juxtapose these otherworldly visitors with his story of San Francisco and environs, TV, the modern Navy, Vietnam and a few X-rated sex scenes and somehow make it all come out convincingly—and scarily!

    With those sexy scenes toned down to PG or R, "The Haunting of Suzanna Blackwell" would make a fine spooky film, with great opportunities for special effects.

    — Radd


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