The Ghost Downstairs

Lina Zuendel decides that quitting her job as a nurse at Everglade Hospital is the only option available to her since she accidentally injected a patient with the wrong medicine and killed him. The hospital is still willing to keep her on staff, but she feels it’s too much of an embarrassment to keep her job there knowing everyone already heard the news of what she did to poor Mr. Ambaum. The news even spread to the newspapers and local TV stations, but she is thankful her name remained out of the headlines. She doesn’t need to be marked for life wherever she goes to live or work. She already knows she will never forgive herself for this terrible mistake she made even though the family seems all too relieved over the news of Mr. Ambaum’s demise. Being only thirty-two years old, she knows she is still young enough to take up residence somewhere else and start her life over again away from this craziness that is happening to her now.
Looking for a job, she drives to the University District for an interview and hopes that the ad in the Seattle Times, which is seeking a live-in nurse for the “Drake House, an elegant retirement home,” is still available and will fit what she’s looking for. When she arrives, she instantly falls in love with the house. She meets Marla and Alan Drake and hopes they are as impressed with her as she is of them. She could see herself living here and taking care of the senior citizens. This would be a much easier position with less likelihood of another catastrophic situation happening to her again. The very next day, she is offered the position. She accepts and on the first of October, moves in. She never realizes that from this day forward her life is about to change dramatically in so many ways.
Who does she meet while she is working at the Drake House? What are some of the strange occurrences that seem to be disturbing all the residents? Are the ghost tales true that everyone fills her in on? Does she witness anything happening firsthand or are all the stories really just tall tales being told by the seniors to pass their time?
Ms. Ringle did a remarkable job in telling this story. I was immediately drawn into the storyline and I found myself losing track of time while I was reading it. I sympathized with Lina because she was dealt a rough hand even though the hospital was willing to keep her on staff after the terrible accident. I wanted her luck to change for the better because it just seemed she was having a tough time since her boyfriend left her and announced he was marrying someone else only a few short months later. She needed someone who would be there for her and love her unconditionally no matter what happened to her. She deserved that. I enjoyed reading about the ghost tales the author weaved throughout the main storyline and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Ren, the houseboy. I was intrigued with him from the very beginning and I was curious as to what his story was all about. Since he and Lina got along well, I found myself hoping that maybe something more could come out of this then just a work friendship. I am new to Ms. Ringle and her work, but I assure you, she definitely has a new fan now! I think you’ll enjoy this story as much as I did.    

Book Blurb for The Ghost Downstairs

After making a fatal mistake on the job, Lina Zuendel seeks shelter in a Seattle assisted-living facility as their live-in nurse. But peace is not what she finds. She soon hears tales of ghosts haunting the house, and of two tragic deaths that took place in the 1930s. Unexplained events send her to ask questions of the handsome resident houseboy.

Ren Schultz, a seemingly young live-in houseboy, tries to avoid his growing attraction to the new nurse. His secrets are too dangerous to share, no matter how lonely he has become. But Lina is persistent, and soon uncovers dark truths that no one else has dared to face.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2009 5.00