Dec 23, 2009

Review--Dead and Kicking

Sadie Novak cleans up crime scenes for a living, and often finds herself face to face with the dead. Blessed--or cursed--with the gift of second sight, she can't seem to finish a job without being visited by an earthbound spirit.

Sadie's going through a rough time. When her dad passes away, she's left to juggle her widowed mother, her lying boyfriend, Zack, her struggling business--and the fact that her father's spirit is reluctant to move on. Now, on top of all that, Zack's former flame hires Sadie to dig out the home of her hoarder mother...and that's when things get messy.

Sadie finds some unexpected things in the cluttered house--including the seventeen-year-old mummified remains of an infant, along with a very angry ghost who seems determined to keep Sadie away. Then, aided by a team of her fellow psychics, she unearths something even more terrifying: a host of secrets that someone will kill to keep buried.

Another book down! Only 7 to go on my TBR list and 3 are supposed to be gifts that I hope I get on Friday and another I still have to wait for it to be released. I'm making good timing and it's only been 2 weeks of break with 2 more weeks to go. Although some of my other obligations for my break have been slacking.

On to the review. I just discovered the Ghost Duster Mystery series last year when I asked for the books for Christmas then and it has been a long wait to read this next installment which did not disappoint! The sneak peek that was in the back of Devil May Ride was pretty much the beginning with some minor add-ons. Sadly no sneak peek in Dead and Kicking. Oh well. Whenever I come across the info I'll post it in my 2010 reading list.

Anyway the plot was very engaging and well paced. There were a string of subplots and some of them tied into the main storyline and others did not, but they were still entertaining. Sadie has a very interesting job working as a trauma scene cleaner and being able to see the victims of those who had died, as long as it wasn't a suicide case.

As the BOC describes Sadie is having a rough time and I could really feel sympathetic for this character despite it being fictional, I tend to get wrapped up in these books, or any of my books that I enjoy reading. Right of the bat, Sadie is beginning to have relationship troubles with Zack and the problems run deep when she follows him on the sly to an ex-girlfriend's house, that is when the trouble really begins for Sadie and Zack take on a job at the ex-girlfriend's mother's house who is a hoarder. There are piles and boxes of junk and other items in the house, including, as the BOC says the remains of a mummified baby.

There are a string of deadly secrets in this book and everyone has one. Including the people Sadie loves most. Worst of all, while Sadie is trying to work the case she begins receiving death threats and she has not a clue as to who they are from or why.

I really didn't see the ending coming, like I said there are a string of secrets and Ms. Roberts does a wonderful job at writing the suspense and intrigue into her mystery series. I am personally not so great at the mystery writing, best to leave that to the professionals like Roberts and I'll stick to vampires and werewolves. ;)

Roberts' writing is very good--it sounds simple, but I find myself at a loss for better words. Roberts does not write in overly confusing ways like we see from traditional and older mysteries. Since I just took a Detective Fiction class this fall, I read a lot of mysteries and sometimes they were hard to follow because the language was different. Think older mysteries, like Sherlock Holmes and a string of others. So reading Roberts' mysteries was a nice refresh from the congested 19-20th century writing. Please note that I am not bashing this earlier writing style, I just do not prefer it all the time, I do occasionally find a story or novel that I like, but it's hard going, although I will admit I did read a few stories that were quite interesting and they were from the earlier time period.

The Ghost Dusters Mystery series is one that should not be passed over. There is always a nice central focused mystery, with some ghosts thrown into the mix and they are not all Casper-like. Plus there is intrigue and bits of romance thrown here and there from different people.

Sadie is a fully developed character and real, you can really feel her pain and emotions when it came to her wondering of Zack's faithfulness, because as it turns out he was hiding more than one secret from her....

Oh yeah, this was a really GREAT read!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. I am likely to return Christmas day just to say 'hi", but my next review won't likely be up until next week sometime. Hopefully early.

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