Review: With its mix of mystery and romance and mediums and ghosts this story had a lot of the elements that I enjoyed.
I liked the premise which consisted of a character who’s haunted by the fact that he can see dead people but not necessarily control how and when they appear.
Titus McGinty is a coffee shop owner living in North Carolina. He’s a Romany which is a type of gypsy and he was born with the paranormal ability to see ghosts. However his family had kicked him out when he was 17 for being gay and he’s never fully learned to control his gift and often feels overwhelmed and bombarded by the spirits. Titus tunes them out by listening to loud music when he’s out in free spaces and spiritually cleansing the areas where he lives and works. This has worked out fairly well for him even though it’s kept him isolated and unable to form long lasting relationships.
Things start looking up however, when handsome detective Charlie Hale walks into his coffee shop and into his life. But Titus has trouble getting the romance started as he’s bedeviled by 5 very persistent ghosts. What’s worse is they appear to have a connection to a serial killer case Charlie Hale’s working on.
All this threatens to derail Titus’s love life before it even gets started so he decides to call in the big guns, an estranged relative, Titus’s granny Hester who may be the key to getting him to get control of his life once and for all. The bad news is that Hester is also a formidable hellish spitfire who may or may not dislike her grandson but absolutely dislikes people who are gay, police officers and aren’t Romany which means three strikes for Charlie.
While trying to deal with quirky friends, annoying relatives and not to mention a murder mystery, Titus and Charlie try to find the time and space for a romance. They’re sweet together even if they occasionally seem to veer into juvenile territory.
I really didn’t see a 36 year police officer playing truth or dare no matter how sexy or getting into True Blood like teenagers. Added to that, I never did buy into Charlie’s supposed sexual inexperience even years after he discovered his interest in men. A confident guy like that would have at least tried something. Nevertheless, while they may not leave you hot and bothered, the two of them manage to pull off a warm and gentle chemistry.
This is a fairly long story for one of this genre and there’s a lot going on. The mystery isn’t that difficult to solve once it gets going and you wonder why neither Charlie nor Titus pick up on the obvious clues. But the storyline made sense and even the technical parts were engrossing all leading to an intense and suspenseful climax.
The story turns out to have a nice blend of romance and suspense even with the creepy dead people running around. I’d say the romance sometimes took a back seat to the serial killer storyline but that was fine by me since I’m a mystery lover.
There’s a darkness to the story but also humor and besides the leads there are a couple of interesting side characters like Charlie’s partner Sonny and Titus’s roommate Riot that we end up wanting to learn more about. I suspect we may get a chance as there were a couple of situations that were left open. Overall this was a good reading experience and I look forward to the inevitable sequel.