A haunted house set in Southern California horse country, the novel also explores the horrors of drug addiction, dysfunctional families, and psychic trauma through the eyes of single mother Maggie Flores and her meth-ravaged ex-husband Tim Emerson.
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Until the house, Maggie Flores believed in only one ghost.
She is haunted by the ghost of her ex-husband Tim, once the All-American boy and promising baseball player, now a meth addict sinking deeper and deeper into his addiction. Still entangled in a chaotic relationship with Tim, Maggie leaps at the chance to move to a house that their eight-year-old daughter Kat has unexpectedly inherited.
Kat falls in love with the ocean-view home in Del Mar, California, but Maggie has reservations - an uncomfortable feeling about the staircase, the unexplained noises, the hint of an image of a menacing old man in a gray fedora and trenchcoat. As Maggie and Kat settle in, Maggie becomes increasingly drawn to Billy O'Donnell, a horse trainer with complications of his own. But despite Kat's riding lessons and Maggie's adjustments to the new neighborhood, the house's peculiarities - optical illusions in photographs, strange behavior in guests, and a whispering invitation from a downstairs closet - continue to unsettle Maggie. When the house's strange forces seem to be threatening Kat, Maggie decides to take action against the supernatural entities, inadvertently jeopardizing her daughter, herself, and the being that most haunts her, her ex-husband Tim.
The Shadow Man offers the traditional chills of the haunted house story with a contemporary edge - a Latina heroine who grew up in the uneasy Southern California melting pot, a tragic hero submerged in the dark culture of crystal methamphetamine, a temporary suburban idyll in which the ethos of Desperate Housewives mingles with the well-heeled horsy set. Maggie Flores is street-smart and complicated, a devoted mother and career woman, and torn apart by her attraction to a new love and obsession with an old one. Beautiful, brilliant, and damaged, Tim Emerson battles his own demons while struggling to save his family - and his sanity. Ultimately, Maggie and Tim find the courage to confront the house's evil before it destroys them in frenzy of hatred, revenge, and warped desire.
She took the Del Mar Heights exit west, suppressing a chill because the house on La Amatista Road was less than a mile away. That horrible house, Kat’s windfall inheritance, a house not of death but of undying malice and pain. Even if they succeeded in permanently driving out the Shadow Man, the house would remain forever residually haunted, anguish and humiliation and terror seared into its invisible architecture. What if the same proved true for Tim and herself?