Review: A Barricade in Hell by Jaime Lee Moyer

July 2, 2014 3 stars, Book Review 15 ★★★

Review: A Barricade in Hell by Jaime Lee MoyerA Barricade in Hell by Jaime Lee Moyer
Series: Delia Martin #2
Published by Tor Books on June 3, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 331
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
My Reviews in this series: Delia's Shadow

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

Delia Martin has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with the ability to peer across to the other side. Since childhood, her constant companions have been ghosts. She used her powers and the help of those ghosts to defeat a twisted serial killer terrorizing her beloved San Francisco. Now it's 1917—the threshold of a modern age—and Delia lives a peaceful life with Police Captain Gabe Ryan.

That peace shatters when a strange young girl starts haunting their lives and threatens Gabe. Delia tries to discover what this ghost wants as she becomes entangled in the mystery surrounding a charismatic evangelist who preaches pacifism and an end to war. But as young people begin to disappear, and audiences display a loyalty and fervor not attributable to simple persuasion, that message of peace reveals a hidden dark side.

As Delia discovers the truth, she faces a choice—take a terrible risk to save her city, or chance losing everything?


Nothing is creepier than a poltergeist child

Ok so maybe there are creepier things, but just imagine being haunted by a little girl who carries around this china doll and she’s got a whole lot of anger. A Barricade in Hell features one such little girl and I tell you – kids are scary enough as it is – but ghost children? youch.  This time around Delia and Gabe have a new set of crimes to solve. Really Delia has her own things she’s trying to solve, why the ghost is haunting her and Gabe (mostly the ghost seems to be after Gabe) and how is this all tied to Gabe’s newest set of cases with people turning up with their throats slit in herbal shops, still other bodies washing ashore on the bay and even more people just going missing. It all seems to be centered around this lady Effie Fontaine who is evangelizing against the war efforts. To top it all off a friend of Sadie’s who returned AWOL from the war, seeks Jack and Gabe out at the police station covered in blood and looks to be raving mad with his fiance is missing.

You know I know

But aren’t the best mysteries always that way? Unfortunately, I think the method the author took this time around was keying us in early with the prime suspect but because of that it took much of the mystery away. There wasn’t as much tension and suspense as compared to the first novel. Then of course there is not that new relationship butterfly feeling anymore between Gabe and Delia. Even thought there was a lot going on the novel moved at a slower pace. I didn’t feel that pressure to rush through it to find out what happens next because I felt like I already knew where it was going.

Sometimes a secondary character can out peacock the primary

I have to say that I adore Delia and I also really love Isadora one of the main secondary characters. In the first book she played a large-ish role but here in the second book I almost felt like her contribution to the story overwhelms Delia’s own. Maybe it is the nature of Dora’s personality that does this. She is quite the flirtatious looker and very eccentric. Or maybe it’s the fact that she is serving in the role as teacher so she is there for so much of what happens and many times takes the lead in a situation. So ultimately I think it’s because so many of the powerful things that happen are things that Dora is doing not so much Delia. That leaves the main character Delia in Dora’s shadow.

I’m still riding this gravy train

There is so much to be enjoyed about the style of writing Jaime Lee Moyer brings to the table. The characters are rich and people that I wish I could know in real life. They have personalities that stands off the page. But what impresses me is the way she is able to make the city itself so real. I can feel the city around me as I’m reading. I live right down the way from San Francisco and it’s as if even though I’m not living in 1917 she has captured the essence and vibe of the city completely. For those that love historical paranormal fantasy this series is a good read.

See my Fan Art Up! inspired by this book.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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15 Responses to “Review: A Barricade in Hell by Jaime Lee Moyer”

  1. Faye @ The Social Potato

    I really want to read this one mainly because of the historical romance x paranormal x horror crossovers. I think I have the ARC (which I havent’t read, eek…) of the first book, so I’ll get to those as soon as I can to prepare for this one. And I know! Children are cute, but when they’re ghosts, they put “CREEPY” in a whole other level.
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  2. Melliane

    Oh it’s sad it’s not as good as book 1, I expect so much for this one… I think I’ll see when I have it, it’s a little long to arrive in France lol. Thanks for the review!
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  3. Megan (Adrift on Vulcan)

    I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved little girls or small children in horror stories. They just send a reminder that evil is everywhere, not only just in adults. And of course, the doll makes things a whole lot creepier too. Too bad this wasn’t as good as Delia’s Shadow, though. The worse thing a mystery novel can do is take away the suspense and mystery, and I’ve noticed that more and more mystery books are becoming that way (*cough* The Body in the Woods *cough*).

    The title is pretty cool, though! “Barricade in Hell” — DUN DUN DUNNNNN. It just screams horror and badassery. Glad you still enjoyed this overall! I doubt I’ll read it since I didn’t like DS much, but it’s good to know that the author still has you intrigued in the rest of the series… if there is a next book. 🙂
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  4. Mogsy

    That’s a bit of a come down from book one, but I can understand why after being buzzed by so much suspense but having less of it in book two. Sometimes a shift in focus from one character to another also does that, I guess it depends on how well it’s done. I’m still very much looking forward to this series!
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  5. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I actually prefer to keep guessing, most of the time (of course, I usually can’t figure out whodunnit unless it’s blatantly obvious, either, but that’s beside the point). Still need to read the first one, especially because I’m looking forward to exploring the setting that you said she does so well!
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yes! She does the setting so well. Ok so not everything is obvious but one of the bigger parts is and that is done on purpose like right away in the first 5th of the book. I think you’d still enjoy these. I do think I would have enjoyed it more if I’d read it a year apart – I still had the oodles of love left over from the first so this one didn’t have the same kick.
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  6. Tina @ Not Yet Read

    You know I’m not a huge paranormal fan, but the way your review says the author creates real characters as people you’d like to know, and captures the vibe of a whole city… well now I’m intrigued! Characters are so important in a book!
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  7. Richelle Nicole

    This one sounds right up my alley. Creepy girls and dolls? Yup, that’s my cup of tea, er, coffee. Feel free to send me this and the first one 🙂 you know I’ve been slouching in my duties to read read read! Maybe a little creep factor will motivate me to make a new doll!
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  8. Rachel @ Paper Cuts

    I remember seeing the first book around and being interested but never picked it up. I adore reading books set in this time period, and paranormal is always fun in historical settings. 🙂 Shame it looks like you didn’t like this one quite as much as the first, but I’m glad you enjoyed it all the same. Great review! 😀

  9. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    “Nothing is creepier than a poltergeist child.”

    You aren’t kidding. *shudders* I’m sorry this one was a bit of a let down, b/c I know you really loved the first one (which I just got from Book Outlet–WOOT). I’ll come back and read this fully when I finish book 1 (paranoia, you know 😉 ). Anyway, I’m glad it wasn’t a total loss, and I’ll be checking out your fanart momentarily.
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