It’s the most anticipated reality television event of the season: three spiritualists gathered together in one house to raise the ghost of Marilyn Monroe. For celebrity medium Jaime Vegas, it’s her best shot at the celebrity holy grail: a TV show of her own. Because, unlike her colleagues, who are more style than substance, Jaime is the real thing. Reluctant to upstage her fellow spiritualists, Jaime suppresses her talents, as she has always done. But something is lurking in the gardens behind the house: trapped spirits without a voice. For the first time, Jaime understands what it menas to be haunted. When events culminate in a psychic showdown, she must use her darkest power to defeat a shocking enemy– one whose force comes from the last realm she expected.
I’ve been waiting for Jamie’s story ever since Industrial Magic. It’s hard for me to say why exactly, but I’m pretty sure that it has something to do with the embarrassing crush she has on werewolf alpha, Jeremy. I mean, you expect crushes from young, inexperienced heroines, but Jamie is 44 years-old. She is sexy and she is secure in her own skin… except when it comes to Jeremy. In his presence, she turns into an adorable fool, and it is completely impossible for me not to root for her. So finally, after four years of carrying a huge torch for the man, Jamie is finally getting some alone time with Jeremy. He’s coming to visit her on the set of the supernatural tv special she is working on. Jamie is holed up in a house with two other “psychics” to try to figure out the mysteries of Marilyn Monroe’s death. Of course, the other two aren’t necromancers, like Jamie, so they don’t feel the strange pull coming from the garden. As Jamie opens her senses, she realizes that she has stumbled into something truly terrible… that the garden is filled with the tattered spirits of child ghosts. So she and Jeremy team up to investigate who killed the kids what dark magic has weakened their spirits. Joining the two is half-demon Hope. (She was first introduced in a short story, called “Chaotic” in the anthology Dates From Hell. She’s sort-of a love interest for the werewolf Karl we met in Bitten. It’s easy to pick up the essentials of their relationship in the course of this book, but I can imagine that without the short story, you might feel like you’re missing something.) Hope uses her contacts as a tabloid journalist to help them get a pulse on the local magical community. And her participation sets her up as the narrator for the coming book.
The murder storyline was very dark. But different, because the real villains here were plain old human monsters and their victims, the most fragile of us all. I don’t think I’ve wanted to see folks die in the this series more than I wanted to see this group bite the dust.
But let’s get back to Jamie and Jeremy. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin waiting for the big payoff between the two of them. And when it finally happened, I wanted more! I know Kelley Armstrong isn’t an erotica author, but I could have enjoyed a few in-depth pages of smexy description, if you know what I mean. The tension has been building for ages between these two! I wasn’t terribly thrilled with how they left things, though I understand it. I just hope to see more of them in the future.