by Frank De Felitta
Carlotta Moran is a single mother of 3, existing on welfare due to her out-of-whack back, and attending secretarial classes in order to one day support herself. She has a boyfriend—a traveling salesman named Jerry Rodriguez—but he’s out of town on business. Still, she’s never alone. She has another lover, an unseen ghostly apparition that enters her bedroom in the still of the night and brutally rapes her, over and over and over again.
Seeking assistance, she initially attends therapy sessions with Dr. Sneidermann, a young resident with more heart and hope than experience. But when these sessions don’t cure her—in fact make things worse—she goes outside the box and brings in a pair of paranormal investigators. Only then does she feel at peace, but there is an unmistakable rising tension, not only on the supernatural plane but between both the psychiatric and parapsychological disciplines as well. Is it mental illness, a psychotic delusion? Or is the “spectral rapist” truly an independent entity? I won’t say, because hell, that’s half the fun.
The character of Carlotta initially seems rather two-dimensional and vague, like there really wasn’t much to know, but as the story went on and we glimpsed insights into her past, we realize why this is. Her son Billy comes across as the typical bull-headed youngster, forced into maturity at too young of an age. Only her young daughters seem like secondary characters here. And while Dr. Sneidermann (initially) comes across as immensely likeable, it’s the investigative team of Kraft and Mehan who really shine here, with their eagerness to find something to believe in.
The writing style at first seemed stilted and choppy, but either it really picked up steam as it went or I was just so intrigued that I no longer noticed. Only the constant italicizing of every he or him or his in reference to the titular entity seemed distracting, especially unnecessary when inserted into character’s dialogue.
Clocking in at more than 430 pages, it may seem a bit excessive as a ghost story, but closer inspection proves that it’s much more than that: It’s also a psychological horror, a love story, a tale about independence, faith and even campus politics. And it’s not just about poor Carlotta and her not-so-friendly ghost. It’s about the effect that she and he (as De Felitta would say) have on everyone around them. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always profound.
This disturbing and oft-times vulgar tale is supposedly based on true reports. Recommended to those looking for a bit more meat on the proverbial skeleton. Not for the casual reader, and definitely not for the kiddies.
The Entity is currently ranked #934,144 in books at Amazon.com. Buy it today!