Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Ghost Layer
Author: Robin D. Owens
Series: Ghost Seer #2
Heroine/Hero: Clare Cermak/Zach Slade
Genre: M/F Paranormal Mystery
Length: 320 pages
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Available at: Berkley, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: What lies beneath…
Clare Cermak’s adjusting to a new man in her life—and a lot of ghosts. The passing of Clare’s aunt gave way to a sizeable inheritance of not only money, but also the ability to communicate with the dead. At the same time, she met Zach Slade, a private detective with a rough past, and just like Clare, he’s not yet ready to accept her gift—or his own.
But Clare has another matter to look into. A multimillionaire needs her help after relocating an old ghost town to his mountain estate. The bones of a murdered prospector are making nightly appearances in his guests’ beds. When the gold miner’s ghost contacts Clare, she promises to help find the name of his killer—but someone doesn’t want the past revealed and might find her first…
This is a difficult one for me to review because there were parts I enjoyed and then there were parts that were hard for me to get through.
Ghost Layer is about Clare accepting a case from Zach’s boss, Tony Rickman. In this case, Clare was hired by a multimillionaire who relocated a ghost town to the mountains and is now having the issue of bones mysteriously being left in beds at his house. Clare is tasked with finding the ghost and laying him to rest. Unfortunately, someone doesn’t like Clare and her supposedly psychic gift, which leads Clare into multiple dangerous situations. With Zach along for the ride, they must figure out who killed the ghost to help him move on while trying to find the person hellbent on getting rid of Clare before she discovers something someone doesn’t want known.
I must say, I absolutely adore Zach Slade. I love that he’s such a damaged hero. He hates the fact he’s disabled and does everything possible to ignore the fact he’s got a bad leg. He’s come to slowly accept his disability, though, and is just starting to accept the fact that he’s working for the private sector now. By comparison, Clare is much more accepting of her new life, even if she’s a little cautious. I like Clare in general, but in this one I felt like she was a little dense. I felt like she wasn’t learning from any of her mistakes and she wasn’t taking her life seriously at all especially since she tried to fight Zach at everything that pertain to her life when all Zach wanted was to keep her safe. At the same time, I like that she’s so independent and confident even though I feel like she could be strong without being so cold and stubborn about it.
There were several things I didn’t like about this book, though. Mainly, I felt like the relationship between Clare and Zach took a step back and went back to the ‘lust’ stage of a relationship. Honestly, I felt like this book had a lot of sex and barely any relationship development. It’s obvious that Zach loves Clare but I have no idea where that love came from because the only thing he ever thought about her was how beautiful she was and how being near her made him excited. It took the whole novel for Zach to open up to Clare and even that was just a touch of what Zach could offer. Then there’s the fact that I’m not really sure how Clare feels about Zach, except for how she’s relieved when he’s around and feels safe with him. Plus, while I think Clare and Zach make a great team, I can’t help but feel like they don’t ‘fit’ in other areas such as how Clare gets annoyed when Zach tries to help her or gets upset when Zach makes a decision for her then becomes stubborn because of that. I also didn’t really like how Zach would interrupt Clare when she was talking or tell her she couldn’t do this. While I could understand why he was doing it, I felt like he could have been less rude about it considering that’s his ‘woman’ he was speaking to.
More than that, I felt like this story wasn’t as suspenseful or ‘into’ the ghost mystery as the previous book, Ghost Seer. While this one is about a ghost who leaves his bones in women’s beds as a ‘token’ to show his interest, there wasn’t much investigation into J. Dawson as a ghost or interacting with him. However, the mystery into who is trying to kill Clare is very prominent but even a lot of the investigation for that was told instead of shown. I LOVED that this story was based around a real ghost and I absolutely love that the author bases this series on some type of legend or myth but I didn’t like that this one was so focused on who was trying to kill Clare and not the actual ghost. In the previous book, the ghost or ghosts showed up very often and spoke to Clare a lot, in this one, J. Dawson doesn’t make very many appearances (at least not in comparison to the previous book’s Jack Slade) so I was a little disappointed that this story was more ‘kill Clare’ oriented than ‘speak with ghosts’ oriented.
Overall, I really enjoyed the ghost aspect of this novel and loved how Clare is starting to get better at her ghost experiences. Learning about all of Curly Wolf and J. Dawson Hidgepath was very interesting and had me jonesing for more of that side of the story. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like how much of the book was focused on killing Clare, which made the story feel not much like a ghost story and made it drag at times. Still, I liked where it ultimately ended in relation to Clare and Zach. So much so, that I’ll be looking forward to reading the next book, Ghost Killer.
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*