I had a little trouble rating this. It had a real solid beginning and the last hundred pages were great, but the middle really dragged on with too much repetition and aimlessness. Blaylock seemed like he was trying to beat the same thing out over and over again. It just didn't breathe for me at times. I ended up really liking it however. A good ending can save a book for me.We never know who Pomeroy/Adams really is and what he did in the past before he gets his ghostly deserts (not that necessary anyway). And I'm not even sure why he's in the novel. In a conventional narrative like this I expect any inclusions to be intended to drive the plot or explain something ultimately and Pomeroy just ends up being this major character that is a big focus of the novel, but then suddenly isn't. The Amanda/David disappearance which drives the first third of the novel, also just disappears only to reappear in the last 40 pages again in a sort of not so great resolution. It almost seemed at times that Blaylock was trying to fold too many things into the book and lost track of how it should all fit together; like he had too many good ideas and couldn't separate or abandon any of them to make the novel tighter. He wanted to use them all but had a hard time weaving them coherently together in one main plot. Each part is good but it overall stalls because of lack of interconnection in the middle third.Blaylock is a really good writer who deserves to be better known but is often neglected because subject-wise he veers all over the place: sf, hard & soft fantasy, horror, urban fantasy, steampunk (one of the best), and just plain stories. This is an old fashioned haunted house/ghost story, sort of. There are still missing persons, a bumbling rapist, an evil real estate contractor, etc. Blaylock's forte is characters and character development but his settings are often like another character - very evocative. This setting in the Southern California hills is as well evoked as any of the real characters.I'm interested to see what the other volumes in the trilogy are like.