Interesting Blend Of Real-World Physics And Paranormal Into Top-Notch Action Thriller. Sexton… you’re doing it again. You just said this book was a “top notch action thriller”, yet it is set in the *midwest*. What are you smoking, and can I get some? Why yes, yes I did say that – and I mean it. The tale opens with an all-consuming fire… in the middle of a torrential rain. As we get the perspectives of about a half dozen or so different characters, we find that one of them somehow has psychic abilities. When the scientist and the psychic meet… things get rather interesting and the tale becomes rather twisty yet also very down to earth and relatable. The ending itself is almost Christopher Nolan-esque in how mind-bending it is, and some of the scenes getting us there are edge of your seat thrill rides. Overall an intriguing series starter, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing where Mejia takes this. Very much recommended.
This week we’re looking at a book that manages to combine the crime thriller and paranormal genres in ways I’ve never seen done before, giving us a killer in many ways more terrifying than even Kilgrave from the MCU’s Jessica Jones. This week we’re looking at Twisted by James Beltz.
Chilling Combination of Crime Thriller and Paranormal. For a book on the shorter end of the spectrum = roughly 220 pages or so – Beltz manages to pack quite a bit of action into this one, and along the way gives us some truly memorable sequences of various psychic abilities. The murderer is chilling and brutal, the mystery is taut, and the final battle is ultimately a refreshing blend of near slapstick humor (needed, as heavy as other elements immediately around it can get), psychic badassery normally seen only in comic books, and shocking action that not even Stephen King has managed to pull together in Carrie or Firestarter. In the end, you’ll be glad that Beltz wrote this trilogy at one time before releasing each book just a month apart – because you’re going to be wanting the next book in your hand immediately. Very much recommended.
Solid Use Of Misdirection. Here, Pine seems to be building to an epic confrontation through much of the book, and then… boom. Quick resolution to that conflict, move on thankyoukindly. Still, one thing that Pine truly excels at is misdirection – the tales that it seems like the resolution will come quick, you get intense, epic showdowns. The books you’re anticipating the intense, epic showdown, you get something else. And yes, along the way you get the standard “police procedural” stuff of showing the friendship and family among our primary cast – this time featuring primarily medium and witch extraordinaire Copeland Forbes, private investigator with a supernatural connection Jude Byrne, and former Cold Case Captains in the Boston Police Department Ronan O’Mara and Kevin Fitzgibbon. And yes, this book is primarily focused on the Titanic disaster, with Pine showing several features many likely were unaware of, as well as crafting a few fictional details to suit her needs in this story. Yet again another book in this series that if you don’t mind coming into an existing universe and having various prior books spoiled to some degree or another is a perfectly fine entry point. (So fans / followers of the Titanic and related stories, here’s your shot!) And yet, also yet another book that long time fans of this ever expanding series and world will love. Very much recommended.
Great Continuation – With An Intriguing Twist On Vampires. This is Book 9 of this particular spinoff series and something around book 30 or so of the overall universe, so if you’re particularly sensitive to any remote spoilers of previous books… you don’t want to start here (but should absolutely read this entire excellent universe). If you’re just looking for a good story with a decent entry point and don’t mind reading previous books to get the details on what you’ve missed so far… this is an *excellent* story to start with. Many/ most of the characters from the overall universe make an appearance here, particularly the recurring ones, and the usual hijinks of a police procedural-ish tale unfold. Though with seemingly more pop-culture references this time around, including an excellent chapter-closing line about going off to an interview with a vampire. And yes, there actually is a remarkable twist on the overall vampire mythos, along with some excellent commentary about said mythos to boot. Truly an excellent work and very much recommended.
Jude And Cope Face Their Toughest Case Yet. Particularly with this “spinoff” of Pine’s long running Cold Case Psychic series, she is doing a *great* job of making the cases and battles ever harder with every outing, and if they can get tougher than this particular one… well, Jude and Cope won’t like it one bit. 😉 Continuing her excellent work of showing the professional and personal dramas, this particular book isn’t a good place to start with even this spinoff series… but it could well be a good place to end it…
Ronan Expects A Friend… And Gets A Father. This was my first book of Pine’s long running Cold Case Pychic books after having read both of the spinoff series Ghost Detective books so far. And despite being book 11, a reader truly can come into this series and not be lost – said reader will just know how several things turn out over the previous 10 books that will be spoilers to those tales, but with this being a romance series to begin with most of them are fairly obvious anyway.
In this particular tale, series original Ronan O’Mara answers the door as he heads back to his first day at work in several months expecting a friend… and finds his father there, asking for his help. The mystery here is fairly typical of Pine in my experience, with mostly detective based questioning people and finding evidence of things with a few tense moments of confrontation in semi-dangerous situations.
Great read, and a solid entry point into the series if you don’t mind the mild spoilers. Very much looking forward to more.
This was an excellent entry point into an existing well-established world. You get enough of a sense of the larger world without being overwhelmed in the details and thus not being able to enjoy the particular story you are currently reading. Indeed, just the opposite is true: the current story is the laser focus at all times, and you get just enough background to understand where the various existing players are coming from while whetting your appetite to find out exactly how they arrived at their current locations. Case in point being one half of the focal couple of this very slow burn romance – private investigator Jude Byrne. He is one of many links to the previously existing world, finally getting his own story in this spinoff series, and apparently he has been quite… open… with the sheer volume of partners he has bedded. Apparent series newcomer pyschic witch Copeland Forbes has been a bit more selective with his lovers, but is certainly no prude himself.
MM romance enthusiasts will likely be dismayed to realize there is no penetrative sex in this particular tale – as I said, it is truly a slow burn romance – though it does have some sexual activity, as one would expect from most modern romances outside of certain particular subgenres. But that is the only minor quibble to be had here and that is mostly just the lack of a genre trope. Otherwise, this truly is a strong tale in its own right that serves as an excellent launching pad for its own series within this larger world, while also getting new readers interested in learning about that larger world. Outstanding on all points, and very much recommended.
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