Duncan, Lois. Gallows Hill. Delacorte, 1997. ISBN 0-385-32331-X. $15.95. 229 pp. NR 7-9 FI Reviewed by Rachel L. Wadham Sarah Zoltanne's mother suddenly decides to move from their California home to the ultraconservative town of Pine Crest so she can be with her new married boyfriend, and Sarah has a hard time fitting in. Things seem to change when the popular Eric Garrett asks Sarah to be a fortuneteller at the Senior Halloween Carnival. But when images begin to appear in her crystal ball and she starts having vivid dreams, Sarah is branded as a witch, and the town and her classmates turn deadly. Acclaimed author of such spine-chilling favorites as Stranger with My Face and Killing Mr. Griffin, Lois Duncan can generally be counted on for a terrifying ride into the realm of the supernatural. Gallows Hill, however, is not one of those rides. With shallow stereotypical characters and a plot line that rests mainly on coincidence and destiny, this novel has hardly anything to recommend it. The novel does deal with some mildly interesting theories about past-life memories and karma, but within this fictional context they would have very little impact, even for someone interested in those things. Unless you are an obsessed Lois Duncan fan, this is a novel that is not worth the time it takes to read it.
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