Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book Review: A Barricade in Hell, by Jaime Lee Moyer @jaimeleemoyer

The beloved characters in Delia's Shadow appear again in A Barricade in Hell and they just keep getting better.

This review is going to spoil Delia's Shadow so if you haven't read that one, proceed with caution. Or just go get it and read it.

Delia is now married to Gabe. She continues to see ghosts, and Gabe is a Captain on the police force. We are still in San Francisco in 1917, about to go to war in Europe. Jack is still Gabe's partner.

The setting and time of A Barricade in Hell add much to the story. I don't know how many times I thought, "If only they had cell phones!" It's interesting to see how people coped with the war looming over them.

Delia begins to see a ghost of a small child that won't leave her alone. She is different than most ghosts because she can get through all the wards that Delia puts up to keep her away. This little girl is also haunting Gabe's dreams.

There is a string of murders, some appearing to be ritualistic, which causes Delia and Gabe to once again work together. Isadora is helping Delia to learn to control her powers and is also pulled into the investigation.

All of these things weave together in such an interesting way, and that's the strength of Moyer's stories. She makes the paranormal seem normal. This is just a natural part of these peoples' lives, and they use it to their advantage, even when it threatens them. This isn't horror. The ghosts aren't even that scary -- although there are some other paranormal entities that are a bit more aggressive in this one.

I have to mention one small negative. There are a lot of details that are unnecessary, especially when repeated over an over. For example, we are told every time Gabe leaves his office that he puts his papers in the lower drawer and locks it. Then checks to make sure it is locked. I didn't understand why she had to say this over and over. I was convinced that eventually things were going to turn up missing from his desk. But no. There were several of these tidbits that just seemed random. Not a big deal, but just caused me to pause at times.

I won't get into too much detail about the murder investigation. We know who the bad guy is fairly early in the book, but the potential danger keeps you in the story no matter what.

The romance is tender -- it's nice to see a couple so happy to be with each other. And there's a new character that provides some potential future romance.

I hope Moyer plans to write some more stories about Delia, because I'm looking forward to them! It's historical/mystery/paranormal. So anyone who is interested in that combination should try A Barricade in Hell. You don't have to read Delia's Shadow, but it does provide some background and it's a good book too, so I'd read it first.

Published by Tor, June 3, 2014
Copy obtained from the library
331 pages

Rating: 4/5

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