Review: The Spooky Life (The Spectral Files #4) by S.E. Harmon
Rain Christiansen isn’t sure he’ll ever fully understand the supernatural. But he’s finally finding his groove as a reluctant medium and cold-case detective. That’s not to say everything is going smoothly—there’s a wedding in the works, after all. He’s finally taking that enormous step with fellow detective, Daniel McKenna, and he couldn’t be happier…about the marriage. Not so much the wedding. The hoopla is enough to make him wish for a quick flight to Vegas and an Elvis officiant.
At least work is keeping Rain and the PTU plenty busy. Their latest case involves Hannah Caldwell, a silent ghost who can’t—or won’t—speak. She still manages to request that they find her dear friend, Cherry Parker, so that she can say goodbye. Piece of cake. Finding people is pretty high on the list of things that Rain does best.
But when it comes to ghosts, nothing is ever quite what it seems. Before long, his simple missing person’s case takes a dark and twisted turn. And Rain realizes he’s been so busy trying to protect Danny that he forgot to protect himself.
If he doesn’t turn things around—and quickly—his spooky life might be cut short for good.
Dear S.E. Harmon,
This is book 4 of Rain and Danny’s adventures and I highly recommend to start with book one. You really will be lost because their relationship did develop a lot over the previous three books. As the blurb tells you in this book they are planning their wedding, or should we say their parents (more so Danny’s mother) are planning the wedding and those preparations are causing both guys a lot of extra stress. They want to get married very much, they are just not sure if they to take part in planning stressful and expensive party.
“Hell, I was barely digging the wedding vibe. His mother was already making noises about an engagement and rehearsal dinner. While I enjoyed eating for no reason at all, I wasn’t sure I understood the purpose of having a small party, then a medium party, all in preparation for the large party. I should also probably stop referring to our wedding as a party.
But that’s how it felt. Like we were throwing a big party. We already knew we loved one another. We were in this for the long run—life, no parole. And yes, I was fully aware that made our relationship sound like a stint in Shawshank. But this party—shit, wedding, I mean—and all the hubbub that came with it was for them. Not us.”
Although there were some parts of the wedding preparation that Raine, at least, clearly enjoyed :)
“Danny watched me attack the apricot piece, a smile of amusement flirting with his mouth. “So which one is the frontrunner for our wedding?” “Wedding?” I asked absently as I examined the jam-like middle layer. “Fuck, is this a layer of raspberry coulis?” He laughed. “At this rate, I’m going to have to roll you in your tux.” “No fat jokes here, McKenna. Not in my house of worship.” I gestured around to encompass the place where sugar and butter ran together freely like antelope on the plains.
“This shit is sacred.” Our Zoom meeting with the team started a few minutes later, and I dragged the next table over so I could set up my laptop. Kevin was the last one to join the room, and I blinked when instead of his face, I saw strawberry-blond curls. His daughter, Maggie, leaned in close enough for us to see the blue ring around her eyes as she greeted us all hello. She had a smear of something chocolate on her chubby little cheeks, and I had to chuckle as she just started counting to ten for no reason at all.”
I always loved the chemistry between two men but in this book, to me, it felt even more solid, which makes sense since they have made huge strides in their relationship since we first met them. I always say this when I am reading the series about the same couple, but I am always afraid that the author will start breaking them up in the later books *without sufficient reason* just for the sake of creating artificial tension. I think the author handled the issue of tension perfectly here – the stress of the upcoming wedding gets to both men, but it does not translate in making both men behave out of character.
Of course the wedding is not the only thing that occupies Danny and Raine’s time in this book. Thanks to Raine’s talent, they are involved in another paranormal investigation, specifically as the blurb states the ghost named Hanna wants Raine to find Cherry Parker so she could say good bye to her.
The mystery is about what happened to Cherry and what occurs next after they learn what happened to Cherry. I liked the mystery a lot, I did not expect the main twist at all. Also, please beware that the last quarter of the book becomes more intense and dark than the rest of it due to the developments of the mystery subplot. I mean it worked for me, the story is supposed to climax eventually and it builds up very nicely, but I was warned that the book becomes more intense and I still did not expect that.