Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Pages/Word Count: 157 Pages
At a Glance: Dangerous Spirits is everything a good ghost story should be.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: After the events of Reyhome Castle, Henry Strauss expected the Psychical Society to embrace his application of science to the study of hauntings. Instead, the society humiliates and blacklists him. His confidence shaken, he can’t bring himself to admit the truth to his lover, the handsome medium Vincent Night.
Vincent’s new life in Baltimore with Henry is disrupted when a friend from the past asks for help with a haunting. In the remote town of Devil’s Walk, old ties and new lies threaten to tear the lovers apart, if a fiery spirit bent on vengeance doesn’t put an end to them first.
Review: I’ve probably uttered the words, “Oh my god, this is my favorite Jordan L. Hawk book. Evarrrr!” every single time I’ve finished reading a Jordan L. Hawk book. That sort of redundancy is an occupational hazard of which I never tire. And, once again, it’s entirely true.
Putting my finger on the pulse of my love for Dangerous Spirits is simple—the paranormal plot elements in this story are exceptional. How exceptional are they? I was so frustrated by my inability to read fast enough that I kept skipping down the page to see what would happen next, and then going back to read the parts I’d skipped just so I wouldn’t bust a vein from the tension and suspense woven into those scenes. If you’re a fan of horror—the vivid prose and chilling metaphysical story elements that not only get the adrenaline pumping but the goose bumps popping at the deadly visitations from beyond the grave—then this book will scratch every single one of your horror-loving itches. Those scenes are written with a skill, attention to detail, and an inspired celebration of the supernatural, which not only had my imagining working overtime but immediately took me back to the earliest days of my first sleep-with-the-lights-on reads, the books that made me fall in love with this genre in the first place. Though, in a bit of a twist, the author also makes our resident ghost an entirely sympathetic character, not to mention made me glad I, for one, am a 21st century woman.
Lest you aren’t as huge a fan of the macabre as I, though, rest assured that there’s plenty of relationship tension in this story too, not only between Henry Strauss and Vincent Knight, our endearing heroes and earnest lovers, but between Henry and Lizzie, Henry and Jo, and Henry and Sylvester Ortensi, a man from Vincent and Lizzie’s past who comes calling—and brings more than a little danger for the trouble.
Poor Henry, you might see a pattern here. He has a rough go of things in this installment of the Spirits series, and his failure to impress the Psychical Society with his scientific approach to the spirit world culminates in a blow to his already somewhat fragile confidence, especially where Vincent is concerned. Henry and Vincent both are a bit of a study in frustration in this novel, their strife is the epicenter of the story, and yet it’s impossible not to understand their decisions and actions and inactions where each other is concerned because their relationship is still untried by the challenges they each bring to the table, let alone that they have to hide what they mean to each other from the whole of society. There are outright lies and then there are lies by omission; what they share to their core is that the wounds to the conscience can be every bit as painful as telling the truth can be to the heart. Both Henry and Vincent are fortunate to have people in their lives—Jo and Lizzy—who love and want the best for them, are the voices of reason, and who help to make up what many would call a bit of a misfit family.
And, where there’s love, it seems there’s always a way.
Dangerous Spirits is crackin’ good spec fic, fraught with emotion, tautly paced, packed with danger and chills, and—simple as this—it’s what we’ve come to expect from the author. This is an effortless read—unless you take into account the spikes in blood pressure—so light a candle, lay your salt lines, say your prayers, and dig into the fun.
You can buy Dangerous Spirits here: