This “By the Book” post comes to you a bit out of sync, as it was originally meant to be the book review for September. However, when I realised that Halloween was just around the corner, I decided to hold onto it for a little while longer in order to share it for October.
The reason for the delay is simple; this book takes place in a Paranormal setting. What better type of book to review on the month of ghosts, maniacs, creepy crawlies and other things that go bump in the night! This review is another first for me, as it is the first Paranormal Mystery I have ever read. The experience was different for sure, but not in a way I expected.
The story revolves around a woman named Kelsey Donovan and a Detective named Liam Beckett. The two knew each other when they were younger, but were separated after the mysterious death of Kelsey’s mother. Years later, Kelsey’s grandfather , Cutter Merlin, died under mysterious circumstances, bequeathing her all his worldly belongings in the process. Now in the possession of Cutter’s mansion and plethora of arcane artifacts, Kelsey, Liam and friends must uncover who killed the old man and why.
Back of the Book:
“Reclusive collector Cutter Merlin is seldom seen in Key West—lately, not at all. Officer Liam Beckett visits Merlin's curious house and discovers the gentleman in his study. In his death grip: a volume of occult lore and a reliquary. His eyes are wide with fright, his mouth a horrified rictus where spiders now dwell.
Kelsey Donovan returns to the old house to catalog her estranged grandfather's collection of artifacts and antiquities, vowing to see his treasures divested properly. But she cannot ignore the sense that she's being watched, the reports of malevolent black figures, the pervasive smell of death.
Is the Merlin house haunted, even cursed? Liam knows well that some ghost stories are true and he swears to protect Kelsey. But there are forces at work for whom one more life is a pittance to pay for their deepest desire….”
What I learned from this book:
- Subliminal Visualization: Never underestimate the power of subliminal messaging! Though this may not have been the intention of the author, the physical appearance of the main detective was locked in my mind the moment i saw his name; Liam Beckett. For those of you who still wondering how this happened, my mind immediately associated Liam Beckett to Liam Neeson. Again, this may not have been the intention of the author, but I found this phenomenon quite intriguing, and am wondering on how I can play with it in my own future endeavors.
- Dramatic Tone and Style: I believe Heather Graham has mastered the art of dialogue, as the conversations between characters flow in a way that feels natural. She also has the occasional pause, which we all do in conversation at one time or another.
- Sticking to the theme: This is my first paranormal mystery ever, but as an avid sci-fi/horror fan, I was expecting way more in regards to supernatural content from a book that was supposed to be paranormal in nature. In fact, take away the “friendly ghosts” in this story (if I am not mistaken, there are only 5 mentioned), then this book reads pretty much like any other crime mystery. Remove the ghosts from the story, and all you have is a wannabe Satanist as a killer, and an old creepy house full of antiques.
For those interested in learning more about the author, Heather Graham, please check out her websites here:
In closing, I would like to thank my wife Linda and her family for not only lending us books, but for the tremendous amount of encouragement in this endeavor.
Until next time!