The Spooky Life By S.E. Harmon

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The Spooky Life (The Spectral Files Book 4) By S.E. Harmon

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Book/Novel Author: S.E. Harmon

Book/Novel Title: The Spooky Life

 

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Summary

Rain Christiansen isn’t sure he’ll ever fully understand the supernatural. But he’s finally finding his groove as a reluctant medium and cold-case detective. That’s not to say everything is going smoothly—there’s a wedding in the works, after all. He’s finally taking that enormous step with fellow detective, Daniel McKenna, and he couldn’t be happier…about the marriage. Not so much the wedding. The hoopla is enough to make him wish for a quick flight to Vegas and an Elvis officiant.At least work is keeping Rain and the PTU plenty busy. Their latest case involves Hannah Caldwell, a silent ghost who can’t—or won’t—speak. She still manages to request that they find her dear friend, Cherry Parker, so that she can say goodbye. Piece of cake. Finding people is pretty high on the list of things that Rain does best.But when it comes to ghosts, nothing is ever quite what it seems. Before long, his simple missing person’s case takes a dark and twisted turn. And Rain realizes he’s been so busy trying to protect Danny that he forgot to protect himself.If he doesn’t turn things around—and quickly—his spooky life might be cut short for good.
I really like this series and this installment did not disappoint. Great chemistry between Rain and Danny as always. The mystery/ghost story was the scariest yet (but not too scary). The author was able to strike a great balance of the sarcastic and humorous banter without making it silly. A fun read.
I thought this was the best Spectral Files book out the series of four so far. The mystery was not obvious but the ghost story also didn’t depend on the mystery. The villain was not suspect until one crucial piece of information and then became the only suspect, which I’m not fond of, but otherwise the mystery was was well-written. There wasn’t as much gratuitous sex, and I didn’t miss it. In fact, I thought it improved the story.
It’s been awhile since I read the others, but the non police work parts were so much more repetitive than I remembered: about the love of coffee, how hot Danny is, the constant mooning over Danny, no nonsense Danny/flighty Rain, the non-stop sex, the same sex positions/roles, muscular Danny always top and Rain eager bottom, very stereotypical. I would have thought that with the fourth book the author could have toned down the tropes and repetitiveness and deepened the characters instead of just repeating the surface characteristics and harping on the mother hijacking the wedding planning. At least set a budget. And then the wedding intervention didn’t make sense either since they had been upfront from the start. The repetition seemed like just pandering filler.And then, the mystery was ok…until it totally went off the rails. First off, the trial would have been a mistrial, not a not guilty verdict setting him free. If there was not unanimity, there was no verdict, no polling of jurors, and no record of who the “holdouts” were. It would have been up to the DA to fix the case and retry. So why weren’t the DA and poor investigators punished, instead of the jurors just innocently doing their jobs? Rain didn’t even defend the jurors from Hannah’s unjust accusations. Then it got into “too stupid to live” territory. As with after he got out of the well, Rain doesn’t tell anyone or fix the ghost dreams and missing time? They don’t look at the daughter Emerson said they lost? And there was no explanation, logical or otherwise, for how the whole well scene worked. Why he even felt he had to go down there, why he was blocked from getting out, the ludicrous climbing out, how he thought about his pendant ward but then it actually wasn’t there. The ward seemed useless anyway: against dream infiltration, bodily takeover, from any protection whatsoever. Especially if a spirit of a live person, not even a ghost of a dead person, could just take it away. Why doesn’t he have any innate strength or self defense? None of it was logical and made any sense. And for 3-4 days? And then, how was his body transported there? That was just nonsensical. And equally nonsensical that he wouldn’t immediately say to Danny on the phone what happened, that Hannah had possessed his body! Why would he wait to try and explain? Spit it out and tell him right away, and tell him you’re worried about Cherry? And this continues even when he’s given opportunities to tell him. There’s no narrative purpose and it doesn’t make sense. Just filler with useless digressions about the ranger. The plot holes and logic gaps continued. The bodies in the well and any Cherry aftermath are just forgotten? Were the various ghosts introduced, but then not mentioned again, solely to provide misdirection for Arnie?Just an atrocious mashup of non-stop tropes and nonsensical narrative. The flash forward epilogue that included a flashback right back to current! Oi! The basic characters and mystery could have been edited to a good book, but they weren’t. The only positive comment I had was agreement about the injustice of cinnamon roll scented items without actual cinnamon rolls.

A seemingly harmless ghosty entity infiltrates the lives of Det./Medium Rainstorm and Det (the fiancé) Daniel “Danny” lives and not in a good way. In general, the storytelling is entertaining with a variety of intriguing enough, quirky characters and an interesting enough paranormal storyline. This tale, this series is a bit off and frustrating. There are gaps in the story, it meanders or gets sidetracked and Rain is a bit too flippant for the dramatic scenes. The Cherry traumatic incident seemed glossed over. I also thought Rain’s tenuous involvement in a murder was too lightly addressed and Police Lt. Tate was very unrealistically hands-off throughout this series. I can’t put my finger on it but this was an interesting, odd read. Rating: 3.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Rain is one of my favorite characters..I normally wait for a book to come out on audible but I just couldn’t wait..I also love Danny. Their families and friends.. I just didn’t like the Hannah Storyline.. the Storyline had Rain acting confusing and I guess you could say outta character .. I also felt the Storyline made the detectives come across as bubbling idiots. I also don’t think Cherrys family would have not been a bigger part of the murders results.. and to be honest the way Rains character was written previously I couldn’t see him getting passed the Cherry ordeal for a lot longer then it seemed..

 

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