Ghost Key (The Hungry Ghosts)

3.93 avg rating
( 29 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780765326034: Ghost Key (The Hungry Ghosts)

Dominica and her tribe of hungry ghosts were driven from Esperanza, that magical city high in the Andes, but they were not all destroyed. As a last devastating blow against Tess Livingston, Dominica seized Tess's niece Maddie as a host, and fled to the United States. The evil bruja has settled in a small resort town in Florida and is cementing her power over a new tribe of unquiet dead. But she will not be able to take over Cedar Key, not without arousing the suspicion of the US government. And not without attracting the attention of Wayra, her oldest lover and most bitter enemy.

Passion, terror, blood, and courage abound in this supernatural thriller that will take your breath away.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

TRISH J. MACGREGOR was born in Caracas, Venezuela and has an ongoing love affair with South America. She lives in south Florida with her husband, novelist Rob MacGregor, three cats, and a noble Golden Retriever.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

One
FEBRUARY 13, 2009
 

A small detail, something only a bartender would notice, triggered Kate’s first suspicion that nothing on Cedar Key was what it appeared to be.
It was a chilly night on the island, temps hovering in the mid-thirties. The weather boys predicted frost in Gainesville fifty miles inland, with a promise of snow flurries by Sunday. No snow out here, not on this punctuation point surrounded on three sides by the Gulf of Mexico and connected to the mainland by four bridges. But a heavy fog blanketed the island, great, swelling banks of the stuff, the likes of which Kate Davis had never seen in her forty years here.
The fog pressed up against the windows of the hotel bar with the persistence of a living thing. It eddied, flowed, constantly moved. Through the glass, she could see it drifting across the weathered brick in the courtyard, wisps of it caressing the leaves of the potted plants, and wrapping around the trunks of trees like strings of pale Christmas lights.
The strange fog looked dirty, greasy as kitchen smoke.
It gave her the creeps, even though she’d always been somebody who loved cozy days or romantic nights of fog. But this fog wasn’t cozy; it wasn’t sexy. The thought of entering into it when she left work made her stomach clutch, got her imagination working overtime, as if something malevolent might grab her from out of this nasty gray weather.
But that was ridiculous. This was an island of sunshine and benign, lazy days. There was nothing threatening about it, or hadn’t been until recently, and she hoped she was only imagining those changes in people she thought she knew.
Kate took a breath, braced her palms on the bar, and looked around to steady herself with what was bright, clear, and familiar.
The Island Hotel had stood on Second Street since it was built in 1859. It was small, like the town—something she loved about both of them—just three stories of wood and glass, thirteen guest rooms, the bar tucked like a postscript behind the lobby. The floor sloped in here and the ceiling sagged enough so that most people instinctively ducked when they walked in—and then laughed and looked around to see if anyone had noticed them doing it, embarrassed that they’d let the illusion fool them. It made them feel like old-timers when they spotted the next tourist doing it, too. The space between tables in the back room was barely wide enough to squeeze through. Kate had worked here for five years and had never been able to shake the claustrophobic feeling of these two cramped rooms. Tonight it was worse because the place was crowded. And because of the fog. The bar seemed more closed in—isolated—than she’d ever experienced before.
“Stop that,” she chided herself.
Locals filled the stools along the bar, the six tiny round tables that lined the walls, and occupied the larger tables in the back room. During the winter, the island’s population usually swelled from seven hundred and fifty to several thousand, but the season had been slow this year. It surprised and pleased her to see half a dozen tourists, folks in shorts, sandals, and lightweight sweaters who probably hailed from some Scandinavian country and thought this weather was balmy. Tourists tipped well, locals did not. Maybe tonight would be a prosperous night after all.
She hoped so. Her son, Rocky, wanted to take advanced placement courses in Gainesville this summer, as soon as he turned sixteen, so he could get into college earlier. He would need some sort of car or motorcycle to get to and from Gainesville. It didn’t have to be a new car, just something reliable that wouldn’t break down on that lonely fifty-mile stretch of road that ran from here to Gainesville.
Her old VW might work for a while, but it had more than a hundred thousand miles on it and the local mechanic had told her already that it was going to need new tires and a new clutch soon. She had a college fund for Rocky, but didn’t want to dip into it for a vehicle. So for the last several months, most of her tips had been going into his car fund. With what Rocky had saved from his job at the animal rescue center, the fund now had about $1,500. She hoped for another thousand before summer.
Her boss, Bean, had offered to loan her the difference she needed. Kate loved Bean like an older brother, appreciated his offer, but considered it a last resort. Bean told her she had too much pride; Kate preferred to call it self-reliance. All she had was herself and Rocky; they needed to be able to make it on their own; she wanted to set a good example for him.
Now and then, music blasted from the jukebox, an old Wurlitzer Bean had restored to pristine condition. Banjos twanged, fiddles screeched, country tunes that made her smile at their lyrics—“Baby, come back to me, or I’ll come back to haunt you, baby!” In between, the constant murmur of voices washed over her; she was used to it. She didn’t need to hear these voices to know the alcoholic preferences of her customers. She knew the regulars well enough to worry about them.
For instance, Marion the librarian—not her real name, but what people called her—loved her Skip and Go Naked, a wicked mixture of ice, limeade, lemonade, Sprite, vodka, and beer. By the end of the night, with a few more of those in her skinny little body, she would be doing the cha-cha without music or a partner. In the past few weeks, she’d been in here every night, hitting on any man alone at the bar. Kate thought it was sad, but she also thought it was odd, because Marion hadn’t behaved like that until lately. Usually, she was nice, kind of shy.
Kate wondered if it was only the alcohol, or if Marion’s past had finally worn her down. She had been the librarian for only six or seven months. She was in her fifties, attractive except for the tragedy in her eyes. Kate had heard that her husband and two kids had died in a car accident in Gainesville a few years ago.
Maybe she had simply succumbed to the same thing that ailed so many of the locals: alcohol as a way of life. A lot of them drank too much, Kate thought, while she scooped their tips. They claimed at one point or another that they were on the wagon, and promptly fell off that elusive wagon five minutes later.
The fact that she cared about all of that—about all of them—meant she was getting strongly attached to the place again. She’d been born here, then left for thirteen years, and now was back again. She’d never intended to stay, but more and more, it felt like home to Rocky, as it did to her.
She wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not.
She didn’t have time to puzzle through it. She was alone at the bar tonight, one of the waitresses had called in sick, and Richard, her lover and the other bartender, was visiting friends in Gainesville. Since the hotel kitchen had closed hours ago, the only available food was from the bar menu, sandwiches and soups, mostly, that she prepared in between making drinks.
Kate finished an order for a table in the back room, put everything on a tray, and set it down in front of her boss, Bean.
Ted “Bean” Dillon was a scarecrow of a man who owned the hotel, had renovated it and put it back on the tourist map. He was sixty years old, divorced, a teetotaler who took no guff from drunks.
She gave him an affectionate and tired smile.
“Hey, boss,” she said over the blare of conversation and music. “Can you give me a hand here and take this to table three?”
Bean was sitting on a stool at the bar next to Marion, the two of them howling with laughter. He didn’t acknowledge Kate’s presence, much less answer her question, so she slapped her hand on the bar, playfully, to get his attention. He stopped laughing and looked at her, bushy brows rising into little peaks.
“What?” he said irritably.
Kate pulled her chin in, not liking his tone, but then she realized that he was undoubtedly tired, too.
“I’ve got four more drinks to make, Bean. Could you deliver this to table three?”
“Oh, really,” Marion said with a roll of her pretty brown eyes. “That’s what he pays you to do, Kate.”
Taken aback by the patronizing tone, Kate still managed to joke about it. “And not nearly enough, right, Bean?”
“More like too fucking much,” he shot back at her, and it didn’t sound like a joke.
“What?”
“Get us another round, Kate,” he ordered, in a most un-Bean-like way. “Make it a pitcher of Skip and Go Naked for both of us, and more tequila for me.”
He leaned in to whisper something in Marion’s ear, and whatever it was made her laugh raucously again.
Kate stepped back, confused by this change in both of them. But the bigger surprise was that Bean clearly meant for her to bring him a drink, too. It was then she noticed that he had an empty shot glass in front of him, the kind they served to the straight tequila drinkers.
“You’re drinking?” she asked him, dumbfounded.
Bean didn’t drink. Ever. He was nearly religious about it, having been raised by drunks. And then something strange happened to her boss’s face, something that made her draw in her breath and back off another step, so she felt as if she were about to fall off something high and deep. It was a little thing, subtle, and she might not have noticed it if Bean hadn’t leaned forward at that moment and glared right at her. She was accustomed to looking into drunks’ eyes to see if they were tracking, to check if they could still drive home. Bean’s eyes looked like nobody’s eyes she’d ever seen before, just as the fog was like no other: his eyes, his kind and sea-blue eyes, had turned cruel black and shiny, like smooth, damp stones.
A chill washed through her.
He gave her a hateful look...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 24.99
US$ 1.99

Convert Currency

Shipping: US$ 6.00
From Canada to U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

MacGregor, Trish J.
Published by Tor Books 2012-08-21 (2012)
ISBN 10: 0765326035 ISBN 13: 9780765326034
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
BookOutlet
(Thorold, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Tor Books 2012-08-21, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9780765326034B

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 1.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 6.00
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

MacGregor, Trish J.
Published by Tor Books, New York (2012)
ISBN 10: 0765326035 ISBN 13: 9780765326034
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Meggie's Books
(Laurel, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Tor Books, New York, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Brodart protected dust jacket. Book Two of The Hungry Ghosts " Passion, terror,blood and courage." Size: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches. Bookseller Inventory # 000415

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

MacGregor, Trish J.
Published by Tor Books
ISBN 10: 0765326035 ISBN 13: 9780765326034
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
M and N Media
(Acworth, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Tor Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0765326035 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # XM-0765326035

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.91
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Trish J MacGregor
Published by Tor Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0765326035 ISBN 13: 9780765326034
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Tor Books, United States, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dominica and her tribe of hungry ghosts were driven from Esperanza, that magical city high in the Andes, but they were not all destroyed. As a last devastating blow against Tess Livingston, Dominica seized Tess s niece Maddie as a host, and fled to the United States. The evil bruja has settled in a small resort town in Florida and is cementing her power over a new tribe of unquiet dead. But she will not be able to take over Cedar Key, not without arousing the suspicion of the US government. And not without attracting the attention of Wayra, her oldest lover and most bitter enemy. Passion, terror, blood, and courage abound in this supernatural thriller that will take your breath away. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780765326034

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 26.55
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Trish J MacGregor
Published by Tor Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0765326035 ISBN 13: 9780765326034
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Tor Books, United States, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dominica and her tribe of hungry ghosts were driven from Esperanza, that magical city high in the Andes, but they were not all destroyed. As a last devastating blow against Tess Livingston, Dominica seized Tess s niece Maddie as a host, and fled to the United States. The evil bruja has settled in a small resort town in Florida and is cementing her power over a new tribe of unquiet dead. But she will not be able to take over Cedar Key, not without arousing the suspicion of the US government. And not without attracting the attention of Wayra, her oldest lover and most bitter enemy. Passion, terror, blood, and courage abound in this supernatural thriller that will take your breath away. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780765326034

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 27.42
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

MacGregor, Trish J.
Published by Tor Books (2012)
ISBN 10: 0765326035 ISBN 13: 9780765326034
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Tor Books, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110765326035

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 38.13
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds