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The Walker in Shadows

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  1,114 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
The house next door to Pat Robbins—eerily identical to the home Pat shares with her college-aged son, Mark—has been empty for years, the darkness within seeming to warn all to stay away. Now new tenants are moving in: affable Josef Friedrichs and his lovely daughter, Kathy, who has stolen Mark's heart on first glance. But something is not right—something old and secret lur ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by HarperTorch (first published 1979)
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I always enjoy re-reading my Barbara Michaels books. She consistantly differs from other "gothic" writers in that her characters are almost invariably on the sarcastic side, and she infuses her spooky stories with just enough humor to prevent them from taking themselves too seriously.

The Walker in Shadows isn't my favorite Michaels book (that will always go to Ammie, Come Home), but it retains the flavor of her snarky, suspenseful, spooky style to provide a light, enjoyable read. I couldn't rate
Nov 18, 2012 Lulie rated it it was ok
I don’t really like ghost stories. But this was a book club read so… yeah. I read it. Thankfully it wasn’t scary, or I may have put it down. I don’t do scary things.

The rating system says a two star rating is for “it was okay”. And this book was okay, I guess, despite the general boringness and lack of development. I liked the writing style – it had that going for it.

I wasn’t impressed by the background or the supposed “twist” at the end. Which is strange because I generally enjoy historical fi
Oct 09, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
I first read this book back when I was 10 years old -- it was the first "grown-up" book I read. I was complaining about having nothing to read and my mom handed it to me and told me to give it a try. As a lover of ghost stories, I devoured this book. As of now, I've read it at least five times.

Pat lives in an old house in Maryland with her son, Mark. One day, a man and his daughter move into the house next door. The arrival of the new occupants awakens something in the house that results in polt
Dec 27, 2011 Kasia rated it it was amazing
While written almost twenty years ago this is still a modern tale of secret passions, family quarrels and haunted houses with eerie appearances that are not of this world. The story is about Pat and Mark, a widow and her son who welcome new neighbors: Josef and his daughter Kathy into the house next door. Their homes are identical, build by the same architect and unknowingly to them they share a secret. Abandoned for a long time the house next door was solemn and dark but when new flesh moved in ...more
Jul 13, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
This is classic Barbara Michaels. This is a ghost story,with some interesting history. This book is copyrighted in the 70's and the terms and themes do reflect that. I got cracked up over certain things like Pat's knowledge of young people's use of LSD, and terms like women's lib. But, there is also dry wit and certain gothic arcitect, and themes that make it interesting. There is some "dated" romance involved also. But, the story itself is very good, and I really miss this type of novel. We eit ...more
3.25 Stars.
I liked the overall mystery and some of the spooky stuff was well done. I also thought the historical angle was interesting without being too much. My big issue with the book was the relationship; there wasn't much development, they kind of just happened. I found it difficult to take them seriously because there was no real build up. I also felt (as I often do with this author's supernatural books) that the climax was kind of rushed and not terribly well explained.
Overall this was a
Dec 16, 2010 Priscilla rated it liked it
Not really the book I thought it was going to be. I really enjoyed the first book I read by Barbara Michaels 'Witch', so I expected this one to be a great read.I was disappointed. This is a part ghost story but for me the ghostly goings on were brought in too quickly and no one in the book seemed to think it odd,which made it all seem very far fetched and unreaslistic. I was also surprised by how much history is crammed into the story, but not done very well or really added to the plot. A weak e ...more
Judy Hall
Apr 11, 2013 Judy Hall rated it really liked it
This book was even better than I remembered. The suspense was palpable. The historical detail was fascinating. I always appreciated the fact that Michaels heroes and heroines were adults so having the main couple be the parents of college age children was fine with me.

It also brought up fond memories of the 70's - not the disco era kind of stuff. I'm talking about the trend towards antiques and handcrafts that came out of the bicentennial. I'm still into crafting and history and antiques and I
Apr 29, 2008 Jenny rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Barbara Michaels’ The Walker in Shadows is a classic mix of mystery, supernatural, and romance. When Pat Robbins’ new neighbors move into the house next door, an attraction soon develops between her son, Mark, and the girl next door, Kathy. This youthful romance, forbidden by Kathy’s father, sets off a chain of events that soon lead to both families involvement with a ghostly mystery. A vengeful spirit makes itself know, first in one house, then the next. Pat and Mark, with the help of their nei ...more
Beverley Albright
Apr 03, 2014 Beverley Albright rated it it was ok
I know that reading a book first published in 1979 would be a bit dated. But that was not the problem with this book.
There really wasn't anything to it. It was a ghost story, but not really frightening. It had some interesting Civil War history, but not enough to make it a good historical account. I didn't like any of the characters...let the ghost get them for all I cared. And I felt like the conversations between them were very contrived and not at all natural.
I know that Barbara Michaels i
Mar 10, 2016 SM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bert Mccollum
Aug 22, 2013 Bert Mccollum rated it really liked it
My first novel by Elizabeth Peters writing as Barbara Michaels, this traditional haunted house tale stands out from others of its kind by way of the author's fluent narration, complex characters and superb plotting. The story obviously required a great deal of historical research into the Civil War but the the scholarship never seems pedantic or intrusive. This is my first Barbara Michaels but will certainly not be my last.
Kathy Elliott
Aug 20, 2015 Kathy Elliott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Classic Ghost Story

No gore, just a chilling, matter-of-fact tale of ghosts and love.

I love Barbara Michaels. Her paranormal romantic suspense novels are wonderful. If you like Heather Graham or similar tales, you have to try Ammie Come Home, or Witch, or one of her others.

Lucky you if you are just discovering Barbara Michaels.
Dec 25, 2014 Jean rated it really liked it
Another paranormal/romantic suspense book from the masterful pen of Barbara Michaels. This one ties into the Civil War and the divisions in the country and in families. As a librarian, I loved the depiction of research. I also enjoyed the twists and turns before the resolution. Nicely done.
Lisa Greer
Feb 09, 2008 Lisa Greer rated it really liked it
Just read this one... I think for the first time as it didn't seem familiar to me at all. I enjoyed it, but it wrapped up too quickly in the end for my liking. Good girl in trouble, love story, haunted house tale.
Jan 15, 2010 Polly rated it really liked it
A book that somehow manages to be comforting and very frightening at the same time. I guess the bulk of it is comforting, but the climax is very frightening indeed. Barbara Michaels best tend to be like that, and this is definitely one of them.
Michelle Wardhaugh
It has been ages since I read this. I found the book on tape at a library sale and snapped it up gladly. The ghost was even more interesting than I remembered, and the romance, though a bit rushed, adds to the enjoyment.
Elaine Cantrell
Feb 22, 2011 Elaine Cantrell rated it liked it
If I hadn't read Amy, Come Home, I'd have liked this one better. I don't know which one she wrote first, but the plots are almost identical. This one isn't as spooky as Amy Come Home. If I was rating that one I'd give it a 5. It was really scary.
Oct 02, 2008 Ali rated it it was ok
This was one of my favorite authors when I was 13 and it was fun to go back and read her stuff again. It's pretty corny, but this is a fun ghost story. You can definitely tell it was written in the 70s.
Jaime Contreras
While it has the Michaels' writing style, it was too romantic and not suspenseful enough for me. It is a passable read but not one of her best books. I struggled to finish the novel even though she does build suspense with ease.
Sonia Gensler
A great premise, presented with a nice combination of tension and humor, but undercut by dated attitudes/references and an anticlimactic explanation at the end. That said, I'm a huge Barbara Michaels fan, and this was a worthwhile read.
Jan 03, 2009 Susan rated it liked it
a fun read, but (like many of her modern gothics) quite forgettable
Livia Komosa
Spooky ghost story... Fluff but fun fluff
Mar 25, 2010 Kasey rated it liked it
I found this book to be quite enjoyable like most Barbara Michaels books. I would recommend it to anyone who likes supernatural mixed in with history.
Jun 04, 2015 Ghostrunner rated it really liked it
A good, old -fashioned haunted house story. Civil war ghosts, dilapidated mansions, and promiscuous teenagers. Reliable and comforting.
Aug 07, 2008 Corry rated it it was amazing
great humor along with civil war history and a wonderful ghost story
Dec 13, 2008 Traci rated it liked it
Another fun read, this one a ghost story--pure frivolity.
Jun 24, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: gothic
Quick read. Old fashioned ghost story. Haunting from the past.
Mar 03, 2013 Nikki rated it did not like it
Shelves: half-read
finally got to page 73. This story is one of those ghost stories that is part mystery and kind of cheesy. Not for me. Looks like it's going on my half-read shelf.
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  • Legend in Green Velvet
Barbara Michaels was a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote as Elizabeth Peters, as well as under her own name.

She was born in Canton, Illinois and has written over fifty books including some in Egyptology. Dr. Mertz also holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Egyptology.
More about Barbara Michaels...

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