Baird College's Mendenhall echoes with the footsteps of the last home-bound students heading off for Thanksgiving break, and Robin Stone swears she can feel the creepy, hundred-year-old residence hall breathe a sigh of relief for its long-awaited solitude. Or perhaps it's only gathering itself for the coming weekend.
As a massive storm dumps rain on the isolated campus, four other lonely students reveal themselves: Patrick, a handsome jock; Lisa, a manipulative tease; Cain, a brooding musician; and finally Martin, a scholarly eccentric. Each has forsaken a long weekend at home for their own secret reasons.
The five unlikely companions establish a tentative rapport, but they soon become aware of a sixth presence disturbing the ominous silence that pervades the building. Are they the victims of a simple college prank taken way too far, or is the unusual energy evidence of something genuine---and intent on using the five students for its own terrifying ends? It's only Thursday afternoon, and they have three long days and dark nights before the rest of the world returns to find out what's become of them. But for now it's just the darkness keeping company with five students nobody wants and no one will miss.
"Poltergeist meets The Breakfast Club as five college students tangle with an ancient evil presence. Plenty of sexual tension... quick pace and engaging plot."
--- Kirkus Reviews
'Absolutely gripping...It is easy to imagine this as a film...Once started, you won't want to stop reading'
'Sokoloff's debut novel is an eerie ghost story that captivates readers from page one. The author creates an element of suspense that builds until the chillingly believable conclusion."'
What better thing could strangers isolated in a big, near-deserted building while a raging storm takes out the electricity and compels the use of flickering candles possibly discover than an ancient, charred Ouija board? The previously unacquainted in question are five students sitting out Thanksgiving weekend in a 100-year-old residence hall. And that Ouija board turns wicked, of course, when it manifests a ghost named Zachary, who turns the place into a chaotic battleground for the forces of evil versus cosmic goodness and light. What seemed a sick joke one of the five was playing on the others has morphed into a situation in which no one can be trusted. Sokoloff sustains pace and suspense while encouraging the reader to identify with Robin, a young woman from a poor, alcohol-ravaged family, who yearns for acceptance. Will she get it from the all-American jock she lusts for; the slutty tease; the quiet, intellectual rabbi's son; and the brooding musician who are her companions for this scary ordeal? Good, engrossing fun.
--- Booklist, Whitney Scott (© American Library Association)
"The Harrowing is a real page-turner, a first novel of unusual promise."
"The Harrowing is a find: fast, original, and genuinely creepy."
---F. Paul Wilson
"Alexandra Sokoloff conjures up a demon older than time and humanity and yet rooted in modern psychology. She brings all her skills as a screenwriter to a tale of supernatural terror as swift as a film."
"Sokoloff's debut novel is a furiously paced, deftly plotted joy, bursting at the seams with disquieting imagery and carrying a disturbingly dark undercurrent. It gave me a nightmare…and that's rare."
About the Author
ALEXANDRA SOKOLOFF is the Thriller Award-winning author of THE UNSEEN, THE PRICE, THE SHIFTERS, THE SPACE BETWEEN, THE HARROWING and the Huntress FBI series (HUNTRESS MOON). She is a produced screenwriter and the author of the writing workbooks SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS and WRITING LOVE.