Deep and Dark and Dangerous

Deep and Dark and Dangerous

4.21 (19,632 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
4.21 (19,632 ratings by Goodreads)
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Mary Downing Hahn is at her chilling best in this supernatural tale, where the long-buried secret of a young girl's death in a canoe accident relentlessly makes its way to the surface of an idyllic vacation.

A family secret is at the root of Mary Downing Hahn's story of supernatural events in Maine. Thirteen-year-old Ali is eager to spend her vacation with Aunt Dulcie, helping to care for her little niece, Emma, in the lake house where Dulcie and Claire, Ali's mother, spent summers. Claire, who is phobic about water, is dead set against her going but is forced to agree. The vacation by the lake turns unpleasant when Ali and Emma meet a mean, spiteful kid named Sissy. Emma idolizes and imitates Sissy, becoming bratty and hostile and accepting Sissy's dangerous dares. Sissy keeps talking about Teresa, a girl who drowned under mysterious circumstances when Claire and Dulcie were kids. At first Ali thinks Sissy is just trying to scare her with a ghost story, but soon she discovers the real reason why Sissy is so angry: she is the ghost of Teresa and blames Claire and Dulcie for her death.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 200 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 11mm | 172.37g
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0547076452
  • 9780547076454
  • 273,224

Review quote

Signature spooky Hahn sends appropriate shivers up the reader's spine ... satisfyingly chilly.
-- Kirkus Reviews

Hahn offers another eerie, suspenseful ghost story filled with family secrets. -- Booklist

Classic mystery elements ... add to the suspense and keep the well-plotted story moving along to a satisfying conclusion. -- School Library Journal

A compact and approachable shiveriness ... an easygoing vacation read. -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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About Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children's librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories. Her work has won more than fifty child-voted state awards. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland. Visit her online at
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Rating details

19,632 ratings
4.21 out of 5 stars
5 49% (9,580)
4 29% (5,766)
3 17% (3,294)
2 4% (762)
1 1% (230)

Our customer reviews

If you\'re looking for a good mystery/ghost story, then look no further. DEEP AND DARK AND DANGEROUS by Mary Downing Hahn offers mystery, suspense, and some great ghost action. Recently, Ali stumbled across an old photo of her mother and aunt when they were young girls. There was something odd about the photo. It appeared that another girl had been part of the picture but her part was torn away, leaving only the letter `T\' to give any hint to her identity. Ali\'s mother swears she has no idea who was in the picture, but she isn\'t very convincing - which leaves Ali full of questions. Ali is surprised when her Aunt Dulcie and cousin Emma come to visit. Aunt Dulcie is her mother\'s older sister, but she\'s entirely different. Ali\'s mom suffers from chronic migraines and periodic depression while Aunt Dulcie is the strong, independent type. There have been numerous times in Ali\'s life when she has wished her mother was more like Aunt Dulcie. Ali shows Aunt Dulcie the old photo and is surprised that her reaction is much the same as her mother\'s. How could they both not remember a picture taken at their family\'s vacation spot in Maine? Dulcie is an artist with a big show coming up in the fall in Washington, D.C. She has decided to renovate the old family lake house and work on her paintings there. However, the lake and her almost five-year-old daughter make a dangerous combination, so Dulcie is hoping to take along her thirteen-year-old niece, Ali, as a babysitter. Ali\'s mother tries to put her foot down and says absolutely not, but she is outvoted and Ali packs her things for a summer at the lake. Arriving at the cabin during a typical Maine rainstorm doesn\'t dampen Ali\'s spirits. She\'s looking forward to playing and swimming with Emma in the lake and sort of being her own boss. Ali\'s mother has always been a bit overprotective, and her bizarre reaction to Ali spending the summer at the lake house just convinces Ali that her mother has a problem. How can a beautiful lake, a cozy cabin, and the great outdoors be a bad place to spend the summer? Ali also secretly hopes to uncover the mystery of the photo and the missing girl whose name might have begun with `T\'. It doesn\'t take long for some strange things to begin happening. The most unnerving is the presence of a slim, young girl in a faded blue bathing suit who introduces herself to Ali and Emma. At first she appears to be a possible companion for the girls, but then she starts acting irritable and mean. She refuses to reveal her last name or where she lives, and she seems to be developing an unnatural hold on little Emma. Emma wants to do everything this strange girl named Sissy does, but at the same time Sissy treats Emma with cruelty. When Ali attempts to seek out more information about Sissy and the mysterious girl from her mother\'s and aunt\'s past, she is met with one obstacle after another. Could this rude little girl have some connection to the mystery of why her mother refuses to return to the family cabin? Mary Downing Hahn offers readers stormy weather, a deep, dark lake, and many unanswered questions to keep mystery and ghost story fans turning pages right up to the more
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