Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: strong, but it is not the heroine
What lies beneath…
Clare Cermak's adjusting to a new man in her life—and a lot of ghosts. The passing of Clare's aunt gave way to a sizeable inheritance of not only money, but also the ability to communicate with the dead. At the same time, she met Zach Slade, a private detective with a rough past, and just like Clare, he's not yet ready to accept her gift—or his own.
But Clare has another matter to look into. A multimillionaire needs her help after relocating an old ghost town to his mountain estate. The bones of a murdered prospector are making nightly appearances in his guests' beds. When the gold miner's ghost contacts Clare, she promises to help find the name of his killer—but someone doesn't want the past revealed and might find her first…
I liked the story in the first book a lot, but the main characters not so much. I am happy to say that in this book I really did like both Clare and Zach. Clare has accepted her gift of seeing ghosts and her duty to help them cross over. Lay to rest. Zach has helped her with her first case, and I did not really like him back then. But he has improved, he is slowly accepting his own psychic gift although he really doesn’t want it, due to bad memories connected to his gift.
Zach is working as a private investigator for Rickman Security, and this time, they have a job for Clare. As Zach’s landlady is Rickman’s godmother, she was the one who told him about Clare. Clare is not happy with it, she doesn’t want to become known as a medium or a psychic. It is bad enough that she sees ghosts all the time, she doesn’t want to deal with grieving people as she is not a medium, she can’t call ghosts at random. They come to her when they need her help or are ready to cross over. But as Enzo, her ghost dog, tells her that the ghost Rickman’s rich client wants to get rid of, is her next assignment, she accepts the job. If she is going to help the ghost anyway, why not get paid for it at the same time.
mr Laurentine is a rich billionaire, with a large estate in the mountains of Colorado. He purchased an old mining town named Curly Wolf, and had it transported to his lands, where he has had it rebuild and renovated as it was originally. But the town’s ghosts have come with it as well. The ones, who stay in the village, add to its legend, but the one who is leaving his bones in ladies’ beds, that is the ghost he wants to be rid off.
J. Dawson Hidgepath was a miner, and quite the ladies man. His death was ruled accidental; he fell of a cliff in the mountains, near his gold mine claim, while picking some flowers for a new lady in town. But J. Dawson tells Clare differently, he was killed and he wants to know who killed him and why.
Very reluctantly, Clare accepts the job, she doesn’t like mr. Laurentine very much. He expects her to do her job within two weeks, as he is having a big hunting party over. And a ghost leaving his bones around, chases away his guests and his staff.
mr. Laurentine also reluctantly agrees to hire Zach to look into the murder, not expecting him to be able to solve the cold case.
Having arrived at the estate, situated in a really spectacular beautiful part of the mountains, Clare is treated with disdain and distrust. It seems that no one believes in her gift, they think her a charlatan. Well, Clare will show them, especially those that have a little pit of a psychic touch themselves. They do feel the cold when Enzo touches them, and perhaps even hear or see him and J. Dawson. Of course they don’t want to admit that, even to themselves.
But that same night, someone tries to kill Clare, and only the Other, residing in Enzo sometimes, saves her life. It is not yet her time, she has much to do. Of course Zach leaves Denver immediately to be with her, and to protect her. But Clare doesn’t really want his protection, she can take care of herself. She will never be dependent on a man again.
Trying to find out what happened to J. Dawson (very irritating that J. Dawson all the time instead of just Dawson, typical American I guess) and finding the one who doesn’t want Clare to find out the truth about what happened back then, keeps them all busy.
I really enjoyed this book, it is suspenseful without being full of action, but still lots of things happen, discoveries are made. I have to admit to distrusting a certain person from the start of the book, and I was correct in my guess. Still, a very good story and I also liked the personal parts of Zach and Clare. They are both growing as characters, learning to live with what life dealt them. Zach with his disability after being shot on the job, having to leave the police force, and Clare with her unwanted gift of seeing ghosts.
I also liked that the book did not finish with laying the ghost to rest and solving the case, it had a few more chapters evolving their relationship and future. Clare demands equality in their relationship, and she wants to help Zach to acknowledge his own gift. Meeting with his mother is the first important step.
I look forward to the next book, and what Clare will learn them about the different types of ghosts. Looking at the title, I think that one will be much more dangerous and perhaps scary than the current two books. I am intrigued with this series. The premise and setting are original, and I really like it. Recommend if you like urban fantasy with ghosts.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian