Ghost Seer by Robin D. Owens

Ghost Seer by Robin D. Owens
Publisher: Berkley Sensation, New York
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (303 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

There’s just something about Clare. Apart from the ghosts……

When her eccentric aunt passes away, no-nonsense accountant Clare Cermac inherits more than just a small fortune. She receives the gift of communicating with ghosts. While Clare may not believe in spirits, it’s hard to overlook the shadowy talking dog appearing on her bed or spectral cowboys tipping their hats to her in the streets of Denver. And when she locks eyes with sexy—and living—Zach Slade, there’s certainly no ignoring him either.

A former deputy sheriff, Zach is leaving a painful past behind in Montana for a new life in Denver as a private investigator, a job that has him crossing paths with beautiful Clare. Not that she minds. After the restless ghost of a Wild West gunman demands her assistance, Clare finds herself needing Zach more and more—and not just for help.

I’m so glad that Ms. Owens still has animals in her stories. She gives them such interesting personalities. In this case they are a little otherworldly but still fascinating, helpful and provide just a touch of humor and extra weirdness to make the plot ride bumpy, unconventional and fun.

Ghost Seer is the first book in her new series and it’s quite a deviation from what I’m used to. That’s a good thing. This storyline is unique, refreshing and completely fascinating. What I also like is the author’s use of an actual historical character. For readers who like “what if” scenarios, this is a treat.

Clare is the main focus of the story as it follows her during a major transition. She goes from being a confident and knowledgeable accountant and into a world of the supernatural; a world she wants nothing to do with. However, she doesn’t have much of a choice. This novel follows the progression of her denial about the paranormal and shifts towards resigned, and although not totally 100%, begrudging acceptance. The journey alternates between being amazing, funny, heartfelt and bizarre. Poor Clare has a lot of changes to make in her life, one of which is believing in her new talents and her ghostly doggie sidekick, Enzo. He’s a bit mysterious too.

Then comes Zach. A man with his own inner conflicts and roiling emotions, he is a wonderful counterpoint to Clare. I liked his depiction of strength, both in mind and will and mostly his body. For what doesn’t work as well as it used to, he’s rather stubborn and is still going through the grieving process. Not that he’d admit to that. He’s got his manly pride after all. But I loved how the author had him dealing with the revelations about Clare’s talent. It’s very human, understandable and lent itself to some great plot conflicts. I liked watching his slow progression from disbelief to belief, from wanting to run away to support and from just liking Clare to maybe wanting a future. It’s a hard journey for him but it’s well worth it. Clare made it worth it and Zach was wonderful with her.

In addition to the two personal conflicts, there are two main external conflicts that contributed significant amounts of drama, suspense, intrigue, action, surprises and an amazing degree of empathy, to the novel. One is integral to Clare’s new talent and the other is more in line with Zach’s expertise. But the really bad villain still caught me by surprise. Ms. Owens gave hints that things weren’t quite right but in no way could I have guessed just how ‘not right’ they would turn out to be. That was a gripping piece of writing.

The only thing I noticed that made me raise an eyebrow was the overuse of a few words throughout the book. I’m not sure if that was accidental or on purpose but it was done enough to notice. It might not bother other readers but it did bother me. Not enough to make me stop liking the book, far from it. I enjoyed Ghost Seer tremendously. I just observe those types of things and I’m compelled to mention them.

For the start of a new series, Ghost Seer is a wonderful springboard. It tackled the world building head on without falling into the trap of an info dump. Everything that was revealed was done in due course of telling Clare’s tale of becoming a ghost seer and the complications that it introduces to her life. The how of Clare and Zach’s getting together was delightful and their blossoming romance is a treasure trove of discovery. Enzo, the ghost puppy, is intriguing because he is more than the wag of his tail. He’s a wonderfully creative character. In fact, the whole premise is creative and engrossing. It’s a meaty story on so many levels that I know this review isn’t doing it justice. For fans of Ms. Owens, they know her quality of writing and I can assure them that the tradition of excellence in storytelling continues. This is also a great book for a new reader to discover the wonderful talent of Ms. Owens. Ghost Seer is a sure pleaser and a must read for new and old fans alike. It’s not just really good, it’s really cool and I encourage readers to check it out. It’s worth it.

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