Washington Post: Alex Gordon’s impressive debut, Gideon (Harper/Voyager; paperback, $14.99), delivers a fast-paced plot that makes you want to finish it in a day, even if you don’t have time. The Midwest town of Gideon is full of witches who guard the living world against demons. An execution gone wrong in 1836 haunts the present-day inhabitants, who are worried about the “thinning” space between the living and the dead. After the sudden death of her father, Lauren Reardon comes to town to find out more about her family history and is troubled to learn that her father wielded great power in Gideon. She must face down the threat of a dead soul ready to rise again and bring most of hell with him. Lauren has the power to stop him, but can she also withstand the grudges and alliances of the townspeople? Gordon’s descriptions of the petty jealousies and the insular nature of a small town make this paranormal novel feel scarily realistic.