A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited by Gregg Olsen to tour Port Gamble, the setting of his "Empty Coffin" series!
Port Gamble Washington sprang up around the longest running lumber mill in the country, operating for 142 years to be precise, closing in 1995. Now Port Gamble is a National Historic Landmark; filled with well preserved & restored historic buildings the town is filled with stories, ghosts and legends. With its lengthy history in mind, this small town of around a thousand hosts a Ghost Conference every year. A lengthy schedual of investigations, classes and lectures, the conference it is becoming the go to place for supernatural investigation training.
The brown house in above picture, is where our twin heroines, Hayley and Taylor Ryan, live -what a fantastic view! In reality this home is the oldest continuously occupied house in Washington state.
The view of the bridge you can see in the background of the picture (the fore ground is of a graveyard which holds the grave of the 1st US Navy sailor to die in the Pacific) is the one where Hayley and Taylor’s bus plunged off of when they were seven. One which they later learn may not have been as accidental as it seemed…..And the cemetary where Beth Lee's sister is buried.
Did I mention Gregg is the father of twin daughters himself? He drew on his first hand knowledge of twins and their special bond for these books as well!
Signing on Saturday September 15th at Noon
Hayley and Taylor Ryan share a special bond, one which goes beyond the normal identical twin relationship most come to expect. They share a supernatural bond, one which, among other things, allows them to know when an unexpected and unnatural death has occurred…..
In this the second installment in Olsen’s young adult, Empty Coffin Series, Port Gamble is shocked when English exchange student, Olivia Grant, is stabbed to death during a Halloween party. Suspicion immediately falls on to the host Brianna and her boyfriend Drew, however they are not the only suspects….. Hayley and Taylor’s best friend, Beth Lee is under suspicion and they will need to work fast to help find the real killer.
Gregg Olsen, keeping true to his true-crime roots, has produced a series which creates crime novels for YA readers ‘ripped from the headlines’ (similar to “Law & Order” style)-- in this installment the Amanda Knox case is at the fore front. However while the Knox case is the basis, Olsen has created new twists and turns in the book so you never feel distracted by it.
The book also does a great job in furthering the mystery surrounding the twins themselves. What exactly is it they can do? How long have they had this affinity? Where does this knowledge come from? And who is after them? And why? The answers to these questions make me very interested in seeing where the next book (called Guilty) will take us next!
I would recommend this to any YA reader looking for an easy beach read (or study break for those who are still in school). It is fast paced and action packed murder story with a touch of paranormal added in for spice. I would suggest it to female readers or open minded male readers -- as it switches perspectives often, however Hayley and Taylor are the dominant narrators. Ages 14 and up.
[First book in the series, Envy, is now available in a softcover and Gregg will be signing copies of those as well!]