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Poltergeist (Greywalker, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – July 7, 2009

3.7 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
Book 2 of 9 in the Greywalker Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Richardson's clever ghost-busting follow-up to her solid urban fantasy debut (2006's Greywalker) finds psychic Seattle PI Harper Blaine investigating a deadly lab-made spook. Pacific Northwest University professor and psychologist Gartner Tuckman is trying to replicate the results of an actual '70s Canadian psychokinesis experiment by the Owen group, whose participants appeared to create a poltergeist. Tuckman's assistant, Mark Lupoldi, provides fake phenomena to encourage the subjects' belief in their psychic abilities, but soon the experiment begins producing off-the-charts evidence of an actual specter. Tuckman suspects a participant of meddling with the results and hires Blaine to investigate. When Lupoldi is murdered, Blaine consults a number of experts, including a former vampire client, before slipping into the Grey spirit world to track the thought-entity who might be responsible. Richardson's view of the paranormal has a nice technological twist and features intriguing historical notes that lift this whodunit a cut above the average supernatural thriller. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Greywalker (2006), Richardson's debut novel, introduced the character of Harper Blaine, a private investigator who, after having been clinically dead for two minutes, now straddles the line between the living and the dead. With the ability to pass back and forth between this world and the Grey world—where monsters are real, and evil is not an abstract concept—she is uniquely equipped to handle cases with paranormal connections. Here, Harper is hired to find out who has been faking results in a university-sponsored investigation into poltergeists. When (naturally) someone turns up dead, Harper must determine whether the killer is human or something else. Like its predecessor, this novel is only a partial success. It's as though Richardson takes it for granted that readers will buy into the Grey world and doesn't feel she has to work too hard to make it feel real. Consequently, her portrayal of the Grey world and its inhabitants lacks texture. Still, readers who like their mysteries laced with a dash of the paranormal may enjoy this one, if they keep their expectations in the mid range. Pitt, David --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451461754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451461759
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Cheryl A. Reynolds VINE VOICE on September 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Second in the Harper Blaine "Greywalker" paranormal series, featuring a young woman P.I. who died for two minutes and since that time is able to walk the world that exists between the living and the dead, known as "the Grey." In this book, Harper is hired by a college professor who is running experiments to see if the collective minds of a group of people can make their own poltergeist. He wants her to figure out whom, if anyone, is faking some phenomenon that have begun to crop up, or else authenticate that the experiment has worked and is valid. When one of the participants of the group ends up dead--beaten and mangled--in his apartment, Harper sets out to find whether the energy entity that has become Celia, the poltergeist, did Mark in or whether he was killed by someone all too human.

I enjoyed this book a lot; I wish we had the option of giving half-stars here at Amazon, as I'd give it four-and-a-half. It certainly did have an interesting premise and storyline, though it did take me a good 50 pages to really get sucked in to the story. The only downfall for me is that Harper still feels somewhat "dry" to me--even though we learn more *about* her, what she likes, dislikes, what's important to her, we haven't yet really been shown who she is...the messy parts, the 'soul' of Harper seem to be sitting there just beyond our grasp. It's hard to explain just what I mean. Still, this is a series I enjoy and I am defintely looking forward to the next one, and hope to get to know Harper even better next time around.

One thing I really appreciate is that there isn't a bunch of gratuitous sex and continual sexual tension between Harper and every male she encounters like in some paranormal books. I mean, after all, if I want romance and erotica, I'll read books from those genres!
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Format: Paperback
Just two minutes can change your life.

Private investigator, Harper Blaine, was viciously attacked and died for a very short time before the doctors revived her.

Or did they completely? Now, Harper sees dead people--or more specifically denizens of the Grey: ghosts, vampires, and such. She can also move in the Grey, their realm. Her previously mundane practice is now filled with clients seeking solutions to supernatural problems. Harper is doing her best to help despite having to proceed very cautiously while she learns about the Grey.

Near Halloween, Harper's approached by Dr, Gartner Tuckman, an abnormal psychologist from fictionalized Pacific Northwest University (PNU). Tuckman and his cohort are attempting to re-create the "Philip experiment," a 1970's psychokinesis study conducted by the Toronto Society for Psychical Research. In this study, Canadian researchers attempted to get a group of subjects to create a poltergeist based upon a fictional character "Philip". The group was able to produce several psychokinetic effects, including moving a table, etc. The experiment demonstrated that a group of subjects' concentrated attention could create a psychokinetic event. (See links below)

The problem with Tuckman's experiment is that the Celia, the poltergeist his subjects have conjured, has very high PK resonance and he's afraid that one of his assistants is somehow tampering with the setup. Worse, Celia shows signs of being dangerous.

Within hours of Harper's involvement, one of Tuckman's assistants is killed by what could be a psychokinetic force. Harper's in a race to figure out how to use her novice knowledge of the Grey to find the killer and disband the psychokinetic energies before someone else is hurt.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm giving it two stars because there was nothing outright offensive. But neither was there anything in this book to recommend it.

I found "Greywalker," the first book in the series, somewhat disappointing in that the lead character was a little too much of a thinly-disguised Mary Sue, but I thought that the second book might have smoothed out the original's problems. After all, how could anyone fail with a premise as interesting as the one here? A tough, sexy woman with a unique paranormal power, contacts among the city's supernatural residents, and a successful business as a private investigator? Apparently, failure is all too easy - it just takes bad writing.

Unlike the first book, "Poltergeist" does not show Harper Blaine with any clients other than her primary one. Nor is there anything significant going on in her personal life. Consequently, it is structured with very little complexity or depth. This plot may have been appropriate for a good short story, but a 349-page book needs a sub-plot or two to justify its length.

Of the potentially interesting characters introduced in the first book, only Carlos, Quentin and the Danzigers make any real appearance, and they are all shallow versions of their earlier selves. The odd quirks that made Quintin so interesting (like having no apparent address, or his unsurprised acceptance of Harper's vampire client) are absent this time. Carlos, who before was so terrifying as the dangerous necromancer, is now just a vaguely sinister source of background information. And the Danzigers have become little more than providers of exposition and sounding boards for long, tedious speculation on the nature of the "Grey," the supernatural realm in-between life and death.
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