Feb 11, 2014

Review--Only the Good Die Young by Chris Marie Green

You know the theory that ghosts are energy trapped when someone dies violently? It’s true. I know it for a fact...

My name is Jensen Murphy, and thirty years ago I was just an ordinary California girl. I had friends, family, a guy who might be The One. Ordinary—until I became a statistic, one of the unsolved murders of the year. Afterwards, I didn’t go anywhere in pursuit of any bright light—I stayed under the oak tree where my body was found, and relived my death, over an over. So when a psychic named Amanda Lee Minter pulled me out of that loop into the real world, I was very grateful.

So I’m now a ghost-at-large—rescued by Amanda (I found out) to be a supernatural snoop. I’m helping her uncover a killer (not mine—she promises me we’ll get to that) which should be easy for a spirit. Except that I’ve found out that even ghosts have enemies, human—and otherwise…

There are a ton of paranormal reads out there with all the classic "monster" heroes, but there's rarely a ghost who's the hero-ine, let alone the main character. At last author Chris Marie Green has given us this particular kind of read with Only the Good Die Young, wherein Jensen Murphy, a ghost who was murdered 30 years ago is learning a little Haunting 101 alongside Crime Solving!

Now I know there's probably "ghost" books out there with the ghost being the main character. I know of some YA ones, but no adult ones, hence my phrasing above. I am not meaning to dismiss anyone, this is just what I know based on what I read! Feel free to leave recommendations in the comments about other "ghost" books!

Anyway, Jensen was murdered in 1984 when she was just 23 years old. Thirty years have gone by and now she's a free ghost, since she was caught in a time loop and constantly reliving her murder, but still never knowing who her murderer was. Amanda Lee, a psychic has brought Jensen out of her time loop to have her (Jensen) help her solve the murder of one of her friends. It happened three years ago, but Amanda Lee believes that the murderer is still walking free. She knows who he is and wants Jensen to haunt him and scare a confession out of him.

Along the way, as I mentioned, Jensen learns what it means to be a ghost and what she can do. She definitely has quite a set of abilities about her. Ones that she uses to her advantage in scaring a suspected murderer. She meets some other ghosts who she learns from. It's great to see her interacting with her own "kind", it's always nice to know that you're not alone.

But Chris doesn't stop there! There's also a mysterious ghost...who's not quite a ghost. He's something more! Jensen and him have a few interactions, and he's even a mystery to her! All we know is that he appears to her in the form of her boyfriend from years past. So he's a powerful something or other, uber powerful really. But that's about all we get. I can't wait to learn more about this mysterious entity as time moves on!

This book works really good for a mystery! There's so much unknown in this story. I mean, who is Amanda Lee really, even? Who is Gavin? Besides Amanda Lee's #1 and only suspect for her friend's death? So many unknowns...but it works for a mystery! I like that it's all a learning experience for Jensen and she learns rather well. It's more like unknown instincts that she happens upon as situations call for it.

There's not much romance in this one. There are some possible romantic-like moments between Jensen and the mysterious specter I mentioned, but it's unclear who that guy is or what he is really. And if you're unsure of that, how can you be sure of their character? Is he a good guy? Or is he not? But he did seem to like Jensen at times, so who knows where that will go, but I am eager to find out.

I have to admit, I didn't see this murderer coming. And while I do love guessing and being right, I still enjoy it when I can't guess and the murderer just gets revealed! It's still a shocking surprise! And while this is a first in the series, I can see some of the remaining characters appearing in the future books. I don't know if we're totally done with our "live" ones yet, but with the final page in the book I could see them reappearing in the next one. Which thankfully comes out later this year as Chris mentioned! 

If you're dying for a GREAT ghost read, look no further than Chris Marie Green's Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire series!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars


  1. This book looks great! I love a good ghost story! Great review :)

  2. I'm always really wary of ghost books especially when romance is involved but this one sounds like it was done really well. I love a good murder/mystery and even more so when the murderer is someone you didn't expect.

    A great review Jessica :)

  3. I was so curious to read your review about this one to know if I needed to buy it or not and it looks like I really should do it. I was anxious that a story with a ghost in main character would be difficult but well it works. I'm alsu curious about her interactions with other ghosts. Thank you for your nice review.

  4. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jessica! I can't wait to read it. It sounds unique to me. I love it when an author gives me something new and keeps me guessing. Awesome review!


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