by Natasha Deen
For seventeen-year-old Maggie Johnson, transitioning the dead isn’t hard. What’s tough is surviving the insults and pranks of Serge Popov, high school thug and the dumbest jock to ever set foot in Dead Falls, Alberta. When she finds him dead from alcohol poisoning and later discovers his spirit trapped in her room, she figures it’s a case of divine justice. Let the jerk rot. But someone—or something—has a different agenda. If Maggie doesn’t help Serge cross over, she’ll die at the hands of the otherworldly entity that’s taken an interest in the deceased bully. As she digs into the circumstances of Serge’s death, now classified a murder, she’ll uncover the secrets hidden by the world of the living and the wonders revealed by cities of the dead—if her investigation doesn’t kill her, first.
I hated the guy, but I was sorry he was dead. Seventeen is young to off yourself. And I was super creeped out that he’d decided to do it in my car. But that was Serge. He always had to be the last to give you the finger—even from the grave. I flipped my cell around and phoned my dad.
He picked up on the third ring. “Hey, baby girl, what is it?”
The sound of his voice—soft and gentle—soothed me. My whole life, it’s never been anything but me and my dad, which made us both seriously over-protective of each other.
I went for a casual tone and said, “Hey, Dad, I got a problem here.”
Through the phone lines, I felt him stiffen.
“Yeah?” There was an edge to his voice, like he was ready to put on a military uniform and turn our beat-up minivan into a Sherman tank.
“Nothing like that—well, a bit like—Dad, Serge’s body’s in my trunk.”
There was a stunned pause, “Maggie, what did you do?”
Okay, maybe I deserved that. One day, I’d live down the sausage incident but right now, I was staring at the cadaver of my six-foot-three-inch tormentor. It didn’t seem like the time to argue over the past. “He killed himself…in my car.”
There was a worried, processing silence on the other end.
“I think I know a dead body when I see it.”
“No, I mean about him killing himself. You sure someone didn’t dump him in your car?”
Well, thanks a lot daddio. That just added a whole new level of creep-me-out to the October night.
5 out of 5 (exceptional)
I received this book from Goddess Fish Promotions in return for a fair and honest review.
Holy Smoke, this book will give you something new to read. The story starts with 17-year-old Maggie suffering from being bullied by a jock, Serge. As you read, you find out that Maggie has strange abilities although she is quite content and able to deal with them. What makes this all the better is that her dad knows and helps too. There is no absentee parenting with this pair!
There is no slacking off in this book, you are literally carried from one thing to another. It has multiple layers and is woven together so well, that you will go where the book takes you instead of trying to figure it out beforehand.
Along with trying to solve a murder and not being killed in the process, you also have teenage angst in there of the uncertainty of knowing if someone likes you or not. There are also humorous moments, scary moments, tragic moments and sad. This book basically has it all.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and I really hope there is more to come. Favourite line of the book has to be right at the end - "Who knew I'd have to die to start living?" Excellent stuff and highly recommended.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Award-winning author Natasha Deen has written everything from fantasy to comedy, mystery and horror, and she was the 2013 Regional Writer in Residence for the Metro Edmonton Library Federation. When not working on her manuscripts, she inhales disgusting amounts of chocolate and wrestles her furry children for a spot on the couch. Visit her at www.natashadeen.com.