1945: Cathy Cheney and Nate Bennett are living in St. Christophers Orphanage while their guardians are in the war. Running from a murderer, they believe theyre safe in the orphanage, until a fire erupts and the ghost of Brown Bessie appears

Vicky Cheney and Adrian Bennett are told that their wardsher sister, his sonhave died in the fire that destroyed the orphanage. But Vicky keeps seeing a hazy, laughing image of her sister, and believes it is a sign that her sister may have survived the fire.

After what they think is an earthquake, Adrian and Vicky find themselves in 1886. They discover both children unhurt, but evil has followed them through time

A romp of a time travel (you dont know where youll end up in Ms. Rileys tales) and one that isnt bogged down by explanations of why. The tale is lightly woven with ghosts, whispered legends and unrequited loves. Children perishing in fire and several murders keep the story on the gritty side. (Nov., 393 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Anne Black