In BAD THINGS by Tamara Thorne, the author combines the elements of nature folklore, Halloween, dysfunctional families, and a good bit of perverted sex to weave a dark supernatural thriller that centers on two brothers, Rick and Robin Piper (descendants of the Scottish Piper clan that has for centuries been able to see the mythical and mischievous "greenjacks" of British folklore). The story starts out during the early seventies in the Southern California community of Santo Verde where the Pipers have lived for several generations. Though Ricky's just a boy, he's the only one in the family who now has the sight and is able to see the nature spirits known as greenjacks. Not even his deformed, legless twin brother, Robin, is able to see these small, ethereal beings. Each year on All Hallows Eve, the small jacks join together to create the giant, Big Jack, out of broken limps and leaves. This hideous creature attempts to help them take over the body of any Piper child caught defenseless, or near death. Because of a Halloween prank gone terribly wrong, Robin is almost killed by Big Jack as he saves Ricky's life. Instead of dying, however, Robin's body becomes inhabited by one of the greenjacks, and he turns into an evil, manipulative creature whose one desire is to kill his brother. Jump to the present as Rick-who's now a widower with two children-decides to finally leave Las Vegas and return to his old home in California, hoping to offer his kids a better living environment. Rick's parents (supposedly murdered by a burglar) and his brother, Robin, have long been dead. With the help of Carmen and Hector (the housekeeper and gardener for the estate), he will once again face the nightmares of his childhood and have to overcome the fears that have haunted his life for so long. Rick will eventually have to put everything on the line in a final confrontation with Big Jack and with a murderous relative who won't be satisfied until he's finally dead. The power of BAD THINGS lies in the author's ability to make the reader care for Ricky Piper as a young boy and the insurmountable obstacles that he has to face when Robin's body is taken over by a greenjack. Rick's fun-loving brother turns into the purest form of evil, delighting in the misery, misfortune, and death of others. When the children's parents are mysteriously murdered and Aunt Jade moves in with her mean, hard-drinking husband and her sleazy teenage daughter, things grow progressively worse for the young boy. It takes little time for his brother to sexually seduce the older niece, as well as the aunt, impregnating both of them with his sense of evil. To my surprise and pleasure, this is where the author delivers the goods with full force, allowing the darkness within each of us to come out in all of its wicked manifestations. Tamara Thorne never holds back in her description of how evil and perverseness can choose to express itself. The only problem I had with the book was with Rick's character and his inability to face the obvious. I wanted him to have more backbone in order to deal with the situations as they arose. Fortunately, the characters of Carmen and Hector, Rick's pre-opt transsexual friend, Dakota, and Dakota's sister, Audrey, helped to balance out the main character's ineptness at perceiving danger and how to deal with it. I even found myself buying the greenjacks, though I had a hard time picturing "Big Jack" in my mind. Still, some of the scenes at night with Big Jack and the little jacks were scary enough to give me goose bumps. The author has a great way of carrying you right to the edge with anxiety whenever she puts children in danger. BAD THINGS is definitely a novel I would recommend to anyone seeking something to read at night when the blinds are closed, everyone's asleep, and strange noises are emanating from the other side of the house. This is the kind of book that would add greatly to your unease. In fact, I liked this novel so much, that I've already purchased three others (ETERNITY, THE FORGOTTEN & CANDLE BAY) by Tamara Thorne to read in the near future.