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Deep and Dark and Dangerous: A Ghost Story    by Mary Downing Hahn order for
Deep and Dark and Dangerous
by Mary Downing Hahn
Order:  USA  Can
Clarion, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Thirteen year old Ali finds a snapshot of her mother and aunt as children, with a lake in Maine in the background. This is the first time she's heard of the cottage where her mother and Aunt Dulcie spent their childhood summers. A third person in the snapshot has been torn out and her mother won't say who or why.

Soon afterwards, Ali's artist aunt invites her to spend the summer at the lake cottage which she has just had renovated. Ali will babysit her five-year-old cousin Emma, while her aunt works in her newly built studio. Emma is a lonely child on the lookout for a friend.

While Dulcie paints, Emma and Ali meet Sissy. Emma immediately decides Sissy is her best friend even though Sissy is sly and spiteful, drawing her into dangerous situations. Ali tries to keep Emma away from Sissy, but she shows up constantly, causing trouble between the two. When she is banished from the cottage she finds ways to see Emma alone.

Through Sissy, Ali discovers the identity of the third person in the snapshot and the frightening thing that happened to her. Sissy plans to use Emma and Ali for revenge. This chilling ghost story is one of Hahn's best. The suspense never lets up as Ali searches for answers to the questions the adults won't even discuss.

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