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Twisted Paths (Mary O'Reilly Series Book 9) Kindle Edition
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Since flat lining in the hospital after being shot in the line of duty, former police officer, Mary O'Reilly, can communicate with the dead. Using her new ability, Mary sets up shop as a private investigator, helping ghosts with unfinished business move on.
Each of the books has its own "mystery (and I'm using that word loosely, as I'll explain), but much of the plot focuses on Mary and her relationship with Bradley, the town's Police Chief. Bradley comes with his own personal ghosts. Eight years ago, his pregnant wife disappeared and he's never been able to find out what happened to her. You can see where this is going.
In the beginning, the characters were great. I genuinely liked Mary. She was smart, witty and had just enough naivety to be endearing without being a twit. Bradley was a little one-dimensional, but down to earth and open to possibilities, which made him a great match for Mary. Mary's friends, Rosie and Stanley (who I can't help picture as Fred and Ethel Mertz from I Love Lucy), sashayed in to provide a little comedic relief. The other characters - the suspects and the bad guys - were only present enough to raise suspicions.
That's not to say some of the characters weren't corny as hell. Especially the villains. I won't give anything away, but the person who ends up being the villain in the first book actually says, during the dramatic moment where he/she evil explains the evil plan, "It makes it so much easier to get away," he/she takes a dramatic pause, "...with murder." I'm not sure if that was meant to be so bad it's funny, but it certainly earned a loud snort from me.
My main problems with the series:
The series is billed as a paranormal mystery, but there isn't much mystery to it. In the first few books, you can guess who did it pretty much as soon as they're introduced. Instead of working on improving the mystery aspect of the book, Reid seemed to push it aside and focus more on the relationship between Bradley and Mary.
There were too many grammatical errors! I think I'm fairly forgiving of grammar usage in books. I don't hold authors to using the King's English and I can accept maybe one or two typos if it's otherwise fine. But each book had so many errors - things were spelled wrong, words were repeated, characters were introduced and then re-introduced in the next paragraph - that I couldn't ignore it.
As the series went on, I started getting this weird religious vibe. Not just religious, but proselytizing. It was like being invited to an "ice cream social" that turns out to be a ploy to get people to join a church. I didn't mind Mary's "old fashioned" values (like she was waiting until marriage to have sex). In fact, it was kind of refreshing since gratuitous sex scenes are becoming almost cliches in this genre. But, as Bradley and Mary's relationship grew, it seemed like every few minutes they were reminding themselves (and the reader) how they could go no further than kissing.
Furthermore, I couldn't help but noticed the only two mentions of relations in the book were in the situation where the character was pregnant, having an affair, or was being raped. I thought that was a little strange.
And further furthermore, it seemed like Stanley became really bigoted toward the end. He started controlling Rosie, almost treating her like a subordinate, and repeatedly made comments about someone needing to speak English since they were in this country.
Oh and further further furthermore, if I remember correctly, only the bad guys are mentioned drinking alcohol.
It just made me suspicious.
But, as I said, I really did enjoy most of the story (more so in the first few books). It just had some rough spots and I hope Reid can get back to more of the mystery aspect of the books (though, given the end of #9, I doubt it will). I fully intend to read the next book when it comes out, but it may not be on the top of my to-read list.
They have Clarissas adopted mom's funeral.
A surprising twist as they investigate getting the ghost out of the house her client bought.
Katie is in trouble because she is one of two people left in the picture of girls who went to school with hope. Hopes twin is the other. Very suspenseful and happy too. Great read.
So happy to see Bradley and Mary moving forward on their lives together.
The case Mary works on in this installment is more chilling and darker than usual but I loved it.
I also like that her client was not typical either.
It was good to see Mary re-embrace her Nail Tough Police Woman attitude and go on the offensive against Gary.
Love love love that Mike is back in the game.
Suggestion: I really want to meet Ian's girlfriend. I mean really how long can she stand to be apart from him?
I enjoyed this installment much better because it completed the story lines and left open only the logical ones. Number Eight had left too many lines unfinished.
Mary and Bradley have been searching for Bradley's daughter, Clarissa, and finally locate her and bring her home to live with them. While they are getting Clarissa settled Mary is trying to solve a 20-year old mystery of the suicide/murder of a young girl. This is the reason I had to keep reading; I had to find out whether it was a suicide or murder!
I do recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a good Paranormal Mystery!
The recurring characters are believable and very likeable. There's a little romance but not enough to detract from the mystery. The plots are varied from book to book and new characters fit logically with the recurring ones. My only complaint about these books is that Terri Reid can't write them as fast as I can read them!
Bring on book 10!