Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Barton Montoire, the ghost of a nineteenth century riverboat gambler, is devastated and angry. His lover, physics professor Sabine, has exorcised him. Again. This time, there’s no denying the professor’s actions were intentional. Worse, Bart can’t seem to convince their friends to aid him in his quest get Sabine to listen to his side of things.
With his lover Bart safe from shadowy threats of eternal damnation in the “other realm,” ghost hunter Sabine Brusilov is free to pursue his own risky investigation into the mysterious circlet and its connection to the shadow figure that’s been tormenting the unlikely couple. With the help of his friends, he determines to take control of the situation and bring Bart home.
I may have been a little harsh towards Sabine in the past, mostly because of his behavior and attitude towards Bart, his ghostly lover and favorite character of mine. However, with Dead Man’s Hand (book 4), Lee Brazil start’s repairing Sabine’s reputation, in my eyes and in that of his friends as well as supplying some explanations for some of the more bizarre actions and events that Sabine has been involved in. Has this made me mellow towards Sabine? Yes, it has, damn, it. Still that amount of arrogance has cost him.
Forty four pages isn’t a lot of time to turn a impression of a character around but Lee Brazil does it concisely and within the framework of a complicated plot. Its not, however, that Sabine changes but that our perspective of Sabine that gets revised now that we get to see underneath the surface of his actions. We see how the things he said and weird things he has done now fit differently into the whole picture. That tilt in viewpoint also shifts the story into another mode – a renewed sense of needing this couple to be together, something that might not have been there before.
Bart is still desperately trying to find his way “home”, seeking answers, for his own scary actions and Sabine’s. That dark evil influence had spread wider than anyone had thought possible. With Brazil reinstating Sabine as more in need of our compassion than scorn, Bart blindly trying to come come to Sabine, and the plot more deeply layered and vicious, the author is setting the stage for the explosions and fires that book 5 is sure to bring. Demons anyone? Evil demons that is? This is going to be painful, bloody, and someone, perhaps more than one is going to get hurt, but who?
Ah, Book 5, here we come, I can’t wait for the paranormal explosions to begin!
I highly recommend this story and all the stories that came before. Pick them up and devour them like the scary bon bons they are!.
Cover artist Laura Harner. Still wish they were darker and more frightening.
High Stakes (Four of Clubs 4) by Parker Williams
Diamond Flush (Ace of Diamonds 4) by Laura Harner