by Cynthia Chow
Details on how to win a copy of The Ghoul Next Door at the end of this review.
A visit from an ex-boyfriend is always disturbing, but when psychic medium MJ Holliday discovers Steven Sable on her doorstep, flustered does not come close to describing her condition. Not only does handsome Dr. Sable bring the news that he is engaged to a neurosurgeon, but he also asks for M.J.’s help with his fiancée’s possibly possessed brother.
Poor Luke Decker has been feeling shadowed by a menacing presence whenever he’s alone, and its poltergeist antics have him unable to sleep and questioning his sanity. Bringing her current boyfriend and ghost-hunting partner Heath Whitefeather along makes things decidedly awkward between the couple, and MJ’s best friend Gilley Gillespie is always ready to point out the obvious and often be completely unhelpful. At least Gil’s over the top antics can always be counted on to provide a distraction.
Nothing’s funny, though, when the team’s surveillance on Luke fails and he arrives at their doorstep covered in blood and a young woman is later found murdered nearby. MJ and Heath know that the police lack the knowledge and the equipment to investigate a murder that may be been caused by something otherworldly, but even they are not prepared for the string of murders that go back decades with a killer who seems unstoppable. If the ghost-hunting team are unable to prove that Luke did not actually commit the murder, how can they make Innocent by Reason of Possession a viable defense?
Laurie always manages to make the most unbelievable completely plausible and readers never doubt MJ’s skills or dedication. While she is distracted by her estranged father’s reappearance in her life, unresolved tensions between herself and Steven, and Gil’s always extreme behavior, MJ never falters in her dedication to use her talents to help others. Gil continues to be a polarizing character, as his self-centeredness, narcissism, and cowardliness in the face of the spectral have one questioning his partnership with MJ. However, his loyalty to his childhood friend is never in question and with a new man in his life to stabilize him somewhat, Gil brings humor and levity to any situation. This is vital, as Laurie effectively ratchets up the menace and sense of peril with a psychotic entity that possesses and body jumps to harass, stalk, and ultimately imperil MJ and her loved ones.
This latest installment in the Ghost Hunter Series continues to highlight the relationships between the characters, and Laurie’s considerable knowledge of the paranormal induces chills while never losing its sense of humor or fun.
To enter to win a copy of The Ghoul Next Door, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Ghoul,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 1, 2014. U.S. residents only.
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