Ghost Maker takes things to a whole new level for Claire, Zach, and ghost dog, Enzo as they must defeat an evil ghost while searching for a ghostly healer for the spiritual tear in Claire’s side slowly killing her.
Five books in and the series has hit its stride. Readers need to read this urban fantasy series in order from the beginning when Claire reluctantly receives her ghost seeing gift and spirit guide dog Enzo and when Zach thinks his career in law enforcement is over from a severe disability. Both have to fight personal demons and emerging psychic gifts to become a romantic partnership and ghost hunting team.
The series started slow and not completely engaging for me, but in the last few books, I have come to love what I’m getting. In this latest installment, Zach and Claire are trying to figure out things still, but have at least declared their ‘I love you’s. Claire is now ‘out’ as a psychic and has taken on jobs through the psychic community. Zach helps though he still keeps his lesser psychic gift to himself.
The latest job has torn the spiritual tear received on an earlier case open further in Claire’s side. She wanted to pretend things were getting better and wants to resent Zach and Enzo’s hovering, but they are right to be scared for her. Nothing is helping. But then The Other is coerced by Zach to explain that Claire must find a powerful healer spirit who can repair her spirit. Using her research skills and psychic hunches, Claire narrows down the location of where this spirit might be- Manitou Springs.
Right about the time Claire is ready to find the healer, Tony Rickman, Zach’s boss, has an investigation job for him- find a runaway boy who’s been on the streets for months. Zach knows that the situation isn’t promising because it has been so long, but takes the case. He splits his time helping Claire hunt for the ghost healer and hunting the streets of Denver for a teenage boy. Meanwhile, a great evil is on the loose and a serial killing rampage is already underway. Claire, Zach and Enzo face another insurmountable challenge.
Yep, this one was chock-full of challenge for the team of ghost hunters. Claire is at her accountant eccentric heart best as is Zach. They might have gotten over the big hump of acceptance for their gifts and their differences, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still have issues to challenge them. I used to get very frustrated with their stubbornness over different things, but now there is a good balance between natural conflict and the resolution process.
I am also adjusted to the pacing of this series. It has its spikes of excitement, but in general it flows along smoothly and steadily like a cozy mystery with paranormal elements. The characters hunt down answers for their cases and then have the big supernatural confrontation making these lighter weight Urban Fantasy.
The worldbuilding continues to grow Claire and Zach’s story. More little tidbits came out about their psychic abilities. With Claire, it’s an issue of reading her great-aunt’s journals, learning from her spirit guides, and practicing her gift, but with Zach, his background and gift are a mystery so it trickles out the reveals for him which I find exciting.
This latest case, like the others before, take Claire and Zach into an investigation into the past of the Old West. This time it is the town and environs of Manitou Springs where TB sufferers used to come for their health. The ghosts in this one were part of that from the sweet young married couple who both defied their families and found love even while dying of the disease and of the young Catholic nun who ministered to the sufferers. The author always does her homework and brings out different facets of Old West history through these stories.
Again and in summary, this series keeps getting better and I continue to look forward to each new installment and the ghost hunting case that comes with it. For those who enjoy a lighter and slower paced Urban Fantasy with quirky and different characters, give these a go.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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