BOOK REVIEW: 'The Oracle': The Past Can Scare You to Death Sunday, Reviewed by David M. Kinchen

'See Naples and Die': -- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, who said it in 1786-88 as he toured Italy. It was to mean that before you die you must experience the beauty and magnificence of Naples. (

If you like the works of Steve Berry -- where the past and present meet and ancient stories take on a modern perspective -- you'll like Michael H. Sedge's "The Oracle" (The Sedge Group, Wilmington, DE, 218 pages, $7.98, available from and other online booksellers, also available in a Kindle edition from

Sedge opens his horror/thriller in 427 BC with an account of the Sibyl of Cumae, inhabiting a care near present-day Naples,Italy. To the Greeks who colonized southern Italy, a sibyl is a a young girl chosen by the gods to be an oracle -- a person chosen by the gods to act as an intermediary to give wise counsel or prophetic predictions.

Fast forward to 1986, where Navy public affairs officer David Jeffrey meets Jennifer Roberts, the daughter of his commanding officer. She's half Italian and is a knockout, instantly ensnaring the young lieutenant j.g. They marry and have a daughter, Angelica, who takes after her mother in the looks department, but has a reputation as a "good girl." Jennifer Roberts Jeffrey is the exact opposite, finding solace in other men when David is away from Naples on assignments. I won't give away any plot points, but the story of David, Jennifer and Angelica reaches the point of disaster when David, 38, and his 13-year-old daughter Angelica die in a mysterious fire in their home in Naples.

A few years later David’s brother, Jack, an insurance agent, travel from their home in Owosso, Michigan, west of Flint, with his family to visit his brother’s widow and have a family vacation that might help their troubled teen daughter, Rebecca. On arrival in Naples, they're greeted warmly by Jennifer, but soon strange things begin to happen in the modeled, castle-like home near the ancient ruins of Cumae.

Sedge combines history and horror in a book that will keep you wondering what's going on in one of the most historical places on the planet