17 February 2013

Ghost Shadow (The Bone Island Trilogy, Book 1)

Synopsis: There are those who walk among us who are no longer alive, but not yet crossed over. They seek retribution...vengeance...to warn. Among the living, few intuit their presence.

Katie O'Hara is one who can.

As she's drawn deeper and deeper into a gruesome years-old murder, whispered warnings from a spectral friend become more and more insistent. But Katie must uncover the truth: could David Beckett really be guilty of his fiancée's murder?

Worse – the body count's rising on the Island of Bones, and the dead seem to be reenacting some macabre tableaux from history. The danger is increasing by the moment – especially as Katie finds herself irresistibly drawn to David, who may be responsible for more than just one killing...

Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, 351 pages (not counting excerpt in back of book), published by MIRA Books, 2010; purchased at a library book sale.

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Heather Graham, and I picked it up at a library sale because the gorgeous purple cover caught my attention. And I see the author's name a lot and know she's fairly popular – I believe my mother is a big fan.

Katie O'Hara sees and talks to ghosts. I was reminded at first of the Jennifer Love Hewitt TV show The Ghost Whisperer, but with less angst. The comparison didn't last long, however, as Katie does not spend her days constantly being visited by spirits who need her help to move on. Some ghosts talk to her, but others she just sees in passing and has no contact with. She doesn't seek them out or attempt to get them to confide in her. They are just there, the way you and I pass strangers on the street. Except for Bartholomew, the ghost of a former privateer who was hanged for a crime he didn’t commit and who “lives”, so to speak with Katie in her home.

Ten years ago David Beckett's ex-fiancee was murdered. He was a main person of interest, but was never found guilty and then moved away. Many Key West residents believe he was guilty, and the story of her unsolved murder is a popular stop on the ghost tours around town. Now David is back, and shortly after his arrival another woman has been murdered in an eerily similar manner. Katie is drawn into the mystery, and drawn to David.

A good suspense yarn set against a back ground of Key West lore with the supernatural element of various ghosts and a love story woven in. I was pretty much in the dark as to the identity of the murderer up until the very end. While I liked David, and Katie's brother Sean, and David's cousin Liam, a police officer, I think Bartholomew was my favorite character. Katie also has a best friend, but her character wasn't very fleshed out or involved as much as the men were, not that I was bothered by that.

I was eager to start looking for the rest of the trilogy, but a little disappointed when I realized the next two books aren't about Katie. The second book, GHOST NIGHT, is about Sean, and the third book, GHOST MOON, is about Liam. And then there's a prequel book, GHOST MEMORIES, which is Bartholomew's story, but is apparently only available as an ebook, dammit.

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