Series: Delia Martin #2
Published by Tor Books on June 3, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Mystery, Paranormal
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.