BOOK REVIEW: 'The Oracle': The Past Can Scare You to Death

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. (

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Oracle': The Past Can Scare You to Death

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.

wikipedia entry on cumae: 


 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.

Michael H. Sedge
Michael H. Sedge

About the author

Michael H. Sedge is an American journalist, author, marketing specialist, and entrepreneur. He founded the marketing company Strawberry Media and co-founded the U.S. small business, Michael-Bruno, LLC, which offers architectural design, engineering services, and construction management to the U.S. government in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. His non-fiction book, "The Lost Ships of Pisa", won the President of the Italian Republic's Book of the Year Award for a Foreign Author and the "Rusticcello di Pisa" International Journalism Award from the city of Pisa.

Sedge was born in Flint, Michigan, and graduated with a Bachelor of History and Government from University of La Verne in La Verne, California. In 1973 Sedge started his service in the United States Navy, and was soon assigned to Southern Italy for what was meant to be a 48 month stay. He was assigned to diverse locales in Europe until 1977. Eventually Sedge, who also speaks Italian, took up permanent residence in Naples, Italy to pursue writing, journalism, and ultimately as an international businessman.

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