by Robin D. Owens
Series: Ghost Seer #2
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
What lies beneath… Clare Cermak’s adjusting to a new man in her life—and a lot of ghosts. The passing of Clare’s aunt gave way to a sizeable inheritance of not only money, but also the ability to communicate with the dead. At the same time, she met Zach Slade, a private detective with a rough past, and just like Clare, he’s not yet ready to accept her gift—or his own. But Clare has another matter to look into. A multimillionaire needs her help after relocating an old ghost town to his mountain estate. The bones of a murdered prospector are making nightly appearances in his guests’ beds. When the gold miner’s ghost contacts Clare, she promises to help find the name of his killer—but someone doesn't want the past revealed and might find her first…
I enjoyed Ghost Seer the first book in this new series by Robin D. Owens and was excited to dive into Ghost Layer. While Clare Cermak, the protagonist, made me a tad nervous, and it reeked of insta-love I was excited about the mystery, talking spirit dog and possibilities this series held. Unfortunately the character’s actions pulled me from the overall mystery and left me disillusioned.
Ghost Layer picks up a few weeks after Ghost Seer ended. Clare has one case under her belt, and Zack Slade, retired cop turned private detective has just returned to Denver after testifying in a case back in his old stomping grounds of Montana. His new boss has a job for Clare involving a very wealthy snot of a man who relocated an entire western town to his ranch and is now being haunted by a ghost. While it is great for creating an authentic atmosphere, the fact that the ghost is leaving parts of his skeleton in guest’s beds is not.
The ghost contacts Clare and wants her to help solve his murder and things get complicated. The mystery aspect was fascinating tying past histories to the present. Clare’s gift is unique, and she has finally accepted it and we see growth in her skill. Zack too is gifted, but he stubbornly denies it even as it aids him. Enzo, the happy puppy like ghost dog, is the highlight of the series with his childlike voice weaved with wisdom regarding the spirit world. The “Other” had me curious, and we learn more about them. The mystery was interesting and the reason I did not set this aside.
It all sounds fascinating right? So why only two and half cups of coffee? The main characters. Clare gets herself in situations by not taking Zack’s advice. She claims to accept her gift, and then avoids it one moment and is all gung-ho the next. I dismissed this characteristic in the first book because of the way she came into this gift/job but for some reason she annoyed me in Ghost Layer. To her credit towards the end, she did improve immensely. The relationship slowed down which was good, but parts were awkward and weird. View Spoiler » For example, Zack took one of her perfume bottles so he could smell her This was creepy to me. « Hide Spoiler It tainted the overall tale for me. I am not sure if I will continue the series I think book three will make it or break it for me.
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