By Bruce Fretts
October 10, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Lost Boy Lost Girl

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”The only person who sees dead people is Haley Joely Osmond, or whatever his name is,” Mark Underhill’s best friend tells him, but that doesn’t stop 15-year-old Mark from poking around a spooky abandoned building in search of spirits who might explain his mother’s suicide. Straub’s first novel since ”Black House,” his brilliant 2001 collaboration with Stephen King, freshens shopworn horror elements — an undead young girl, a haunted house, a serial killer — with an inventive structure (incorporating e-mails and journal entries), masterfully fleshed-out characters, and real emotional content. As a result, ”lost boy lost girl” proves much more than just a ghost story: Straub puts the natural back in supernatural.

Lost Boy Lost Girl

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