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Ghosts Among Men: A Novella (Samantha Davidson Novella) Paperback – May 21, 2015
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"Ghosts Among Men: A Samantha Davidson Novella, is a classy homage to the noir crime genre that blends hard-boiled detecting and police procedurals with more than a touch of the supernatural... Del's plot is clever and unpredictable, and she keeps the story taut and intense..." - Readers' Favorite
About the Author
Laura Del earned a degree in radio, television, and film from Rowan University.
Del is the author of two other books, Graveyard Shifts and Dueling Moons, which are part of the Pat Wyatt series.
Del lives in New Jersey, where she runs the blogging website
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This novella dives head first into complicated life of Samantha Davidson, a medium that works as a private investigator for the grieving and works as a consultant with local law enforcement.
Now, first off, I know a main character as a medium has been done but lets just get all preconceived notions about the Ghost Whisperer far away from our minds. That television show is more a visit to a church’s nursery. Ms. Del’s novella is written more in a style of police drama shows of the seventies and eighties (I sometimes miss those shows).
The author starts you with a very grim future for the main character in her prologue then begins the story quickly in having the protagonist explain who she is, what she does and who she works with. The novella is written in first person, as all detective stories should and she has some neat ideas in dealing with the newly departed that I have not seen fiction try to embellish. Also, Ms. Del seems to have a knack to make her fiction look like it could be a bit predictable only have you find it was not nearly that easy and in the end she would have you second guessing what will happen.
Things I liked:
When ghosts interact and leave for some interesting drama and she did that very well here albeit the main ghost for the plot needed to be slapped for her mischievous behavior.
The protagonist’s interactions with the non-corporal and the reaction of other people around her when she acted that way, as they are all used to it by now; well, almost. You certainly get a sense that Samantha has been doing her medium work with the people around her for a while now.
How a ghosts goes downstairs and not upstairs. She uses two effects, one done by the protagonist herself and one done by another ghost that is a surprise for the protagonist.
Samantha is tough and for what she goes through she has to be tough. There’s no crying in baseball and there’s no crying in being a medium.
Things I didn’t like:
The story seemed to be rushed. Then again I put my mind into thinking I was watching a one hour investigative drama and I was okay. The story’s feel of being rushed calms down the further you go into the story.
“Are you alright? Are you okay?” This was asked to the protagonist A LOT! Finally she got defensive with that question as it quickly starting feeling like a bad running gag.
And I felt a supporting antagonist was a bit too obvious, however I did not know how they were really being used in the plot and the point of introduction into the story.
Overall I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I’ll admit I initially read this novella to see if it was a good idea to tackle Ms. Del’s two novels, Graveyard Shifts and Dueling Moons because they are beginnings of a novel series and I don’t want to start a new series until I know I like their style of writing and I can get into their stories. Ghosts Among Men proved that I should give them a shot but more importantly I’m definitely waiting for the next Samantha Davidson novella.
Samantha is working a murder case with her assistant, Mark, and homicide detective, Lance MacDowell. She sees and interviews the murdered girl, Allison. The problem is, Allison can’t remember what happened to her, who killed her.
Samantha has solved all twenty of her cases so far, from helping loved ones connect to catching adulterers. Not bad for only a year as a P.I. But this case could threaten that record.
Life gets complicated for Samantha. Things aren’t what they appear in this case. Lots of secrets. Lots of money. Lots of ghosts. And she’s trying to have a love life too, crushing on her sexy office manager, Mark. Hey, a girl’s gotta try.
I’d call this a dark comedy mystery. Heavy on chuckles and mystery.
There’s a scene where Samantha is having dinner with the parents of Allison, the murdered girl. The father doesn’t want his wife to know he’s hired a private investigator, especially one who communicates with ghosts, so Sam poses as the dead girls friend.
Try to picture Sam, struggling to ignore Allison as the ghost butts into every conversation. It’s almost impossible not to blow her cover. Allison is a sassy lass and loves toying with her.
There’s a dark side too. Things got creepy while reading a scene where Sam is dreaming. In her dream, she’s Allison and reliving what happened the night she was murdered. Such an ugly betrayal.
I was surprised by how quickly I came to know the characters in this story. This isn’t a long book, but I easily connected to and liked many of them. They were easy to visualize, even the stereotypical jerks.
And the ending was something else. Bazinga was the first thing that popped into my head when the case unfolded.
I’d recommend this to mystery and paranormal lovers. It’s fast, fun, and you’ll want more.