Synopsis from Goodreads: 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...
Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, Mira Books, 2010.
How acquired: Who knows. I probably picked it up at a library sale, but I don't remember.
First line: The sun was setting, casting a bloodred hue upon the land and the Merlin house.
My thoughts: I really enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, GHOST SHADOW, but was disappointed with the second book, GHOST NIGHT, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. And while it wasn't as good as I remember the first book being, it was much better than the second book. So I guess that's a happy medium.
Like the second book, the writing sometimes felt a bit amateurish, but I liked both Liam and Kelsey, despite there not being a lot of depth to their characters. Kelsey wasn't much different than Vanessa and Katie before her, other than not (initially) having Katie's gift of seeing ghosts. I was glad that Bartholomew had now become attached to Liam, but was disappointed that he still wasn't on the page as much as the living breathing characters.
The mystery kept me in the dark. Liam began to suspect one of his own friends as being the culprit, and I was suspecting right along with him, and did not figure it out on my own.
The very ending with Bartholomew was abrupt and rushed, and I wish it had been drawn out more. He's still my favorite character in the trilogy, and I'd like to read the prequel book about him, Ghost Memories, but it's only available as an ebook and I just don't want it badly enough right now to spend the money. Maybe the next time I have an Amazon gift certificate.