Friday, July 25

Heather Graham: The Séance

A group of friends drag out a Ouija board looking for a bit of Halloween fun. What they get is the spirit of a suspected serial killer shot dead by police fifteen years ago. Shortly thereafter, bodies start turning up with all the hallmarks of the earlier murders.
The spirit begins haunting the house where the séance was held, insisting on his innocence both now and all those years ago and asking for help in clearing his name.
The police aren’t particularly open to the words of a ghost and when the woman hearing them fits the serial killer’s preferred subject profile everyone begins to worry for her safety as well as her sanity, particularly when all signs point to the killer being a close family member.
With the help of her childhood friend, an ex-cop turned private detective, she answers the question of whether this is the original killer or a copy cat.
Though mainly a suspense/thriller this story also contained elements of the supernatural and a strong romantic subplot and I feel it blended all three aspects well.
I particularly liked seeing a heroine with a modicum of common sense. So often in this type of romantic suspense the reader is told the heroine is intelligent only to have her behave like an idiot, not so here. There’s a killer on the loose and she fits his victim profile so she changes her locks (she has only recently moved to the house and doesn’t know who might have keys) and keeps her doors locked, she gets a guard dog, she takes company where she can rather than travel alone, she has a number of people on call if she is feeling scared. In short, she behaves sensibly and responsibly.
On the romance front she doesn’t argue with the hero for the sake of it but neither does she put up with patronising or condescending behaviour.
There are enough hints throughout the story that you can guess who the killer is but it is only at the climax that any suspicions are confirmed. So while I wasn’t surprised by the identity of the murderer I was kept guessing for much of the way through the book.
If you’re looking for a supernatural thriller, then this isn’t for you. The supernatural elements were minor. Likewise, if you hope for a romance; there is one there but it’s not the story’s focus. But if you want a little of both then you could do worse than read this.-Lynn

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