S.E. Harmon never disappoints. Sure, I griped a bit about #1 of The Spectral Files, but I really didn’t have any other choice than to continue with the series. Because despite some of my reservations, I craved more.
Synopsis: Rain’s back as a detective at the BBPD, in the newly founded PTU – the paranormal tactical unit. His ghost-whispering is supposed to help solve cold cases. But he can’t control his abilities and the ghosts appear to be getting stronger, now they’re even invading his dreams. And Rain can’t help to think Danny will get tired of constant ghostly interruptions – in and out of bed. Then a case they’re working sets them on the trail of a serial killer, all while the ghosts around Rain steal his energy to reach through to affect the physical world.
This book is a perfect melding of three storylines; It’s the straightforward detective story with catching the murderer (well, it’s as straightforward as a cold-case investigation relying on the paranormal abilities of one of the investigators can be). Then it’s the way Rain’s trying to cope with his ghostly sightings, how it’s affecting him and the people around him. And finally, it’s the story of Rain and Danny.
And I loooove Rain and Danny. Their dynamic, their hot AF chemistry, and their banter. And what’s so amazing is how there’s no relationship drama – which is otherwise way too common when revisiting the same couple – but it’s still entertaining as heck to see how they evolve. And yes, there’s plenty of the warm fuzzies. But also lots of sarcasm and smut. So it’s pretty much the perfect story!
I generally prefer dual POVs, but I’m totally fine with only getting into the head of Rain. He is snarky, sarcastic and perfectly hilarious. And even though Danny can hold his own, he’s not as prickly and he humours Rain in the sweetest way. I’ve highlighted the f*** out of this book. 38 highlights is definitely a personal best. And all of them are hilarious exchanges between Danny and Rain, or simply Rain’s priceless inner monologue.
Harmon just writes the most amazing characters. It’s truly impressive how she manages to portray these complex individuals and make them so utterly perfect in their imperfections. They’re lovable and funny and I think that’s probably what makes all her books stand out so much. Her warm portrayal of people combined with the most awesome humour.
So, basically, this is a fabulous story.
However, I need to mention two things that didn’t make sense to me. One of my objections about the previous book was that I got the impression Harmon couldn’t keep the timeline straight, and that she sometimes forgot certain things supposedly happened many years ago. In a way, that happened in Principles of Spookology too. It’s a cold-case, a ten year old murder, yet when Rain can’t get a hold of a guy he wants to interview for the first time, he speculates about that guy laying low because he doesn’t want to talk to the police. Also, I couldn’t reconcile the age of the murderer with his murder-spree. Eight victims, killed 3-5 years apart… It doesn’t add up.
Many murder-mysteries tend to have a short summary of the case in the end. Maybe it’s the MC who lays it all out there and connects the dots in his head. I sould have liked that in this book (and in the prequel). It might be that I just missed those details that would have explained the timeline. But I guess I’ll need to do a re-read to figure out if that is the case. And I will be reading this book again, once I’ve forgotten the details of the mystery. Because Rain and Danny are just that great.