Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Sheriff Sam Daly, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and his husband, Michael Bellomo, have made a life for themselves in sparsely populated Pine County, in the Colorado mountains. Sam oversees the small sheriff’s department, and Michael sells his paintings and tourist items out of his shop, Needful Things. From the beginning, Sam has known Michael possessed gifts: the ability to see and hear things Sam cannot.
When a report of a body in a massive snow-filled depression up a mountainside sends Sam and his deputy, Digger, to investigate, Sam struggles to reconcile the existence of skinwalkers in Pine County with the world he’s familiar with. Michael, though, deals with this reality through his art, and through the mysticism he’s been gifted. Sam’s effort to discover what is happening causes him to examine his life with Michael from the time they first met. The inevitable conclusion might be that he’ll never understand the mysteries of the mountains, but for the sake of Michael and their love, he’ll have to embrace them.
I really enjoyed “Whispers of Old Winds”. It’s a bit of an unusual paranormal story. It’s not told from the supernaturally gifted MC’s pov and I’ve never come across the Native American myths about skinwalkers before. I’ll admit that my knowledge of Native American myths and legends is extremely limited, though.
Anyway, I liked how the author wove those myths into the story so easily, even though his MCs are not Native American. I have a thing for myths and fairy tales and I’m always thrilled to learn more about them.
The story itself was an interesting mix of supernatural occurrences and crime investigation, with a bit of mobster business to spice things up a little. Oddly enough, it was still a rather quiet story. Or at least that’s how it felt to me.
Sam and Michael are already a married couple at the beginning of the book. We do learn about how they met and fell in love in short flashbacks all over the book. I think there were a few too many time jumps at the beginning, making things a little bit confusing. The love story doesn’t play a major role here, even though the two of them are very obviously in love with each other.
The sex is non-explicit for the most part, with a few short exceptions where things got a little more detailed. I think that worked well with the vibe of the story. Explicit sex scenes would have felt out of place, somehow.
George Seaton is a master at making me feel cold. His descriptions of the weather conditions were excellent. And I definitely know where I don’t want to live now… Way too cold up there!
Michael remains a bit of a mystery throughout the story. We don’t get his pov, so we only know what Sam knows, and that’s really not all that much. He still seemed very likeable, if a bit odd.
I immediately liked Sam. The way he interacted with Brunhilde, his car, was adorable. He treated her like a pet. Little quirks like that gave him real depth.
George Seaton came up with a very interesting cast of minor characters, each with their own unique personality.
What makes “Whispers of Old Winds” so good is the excellent mix of all sorts of little things, like Sam being a war veteran or Michael being the son of a mobster, without making the whole story about just one of those things.
Long story short, if you like crime novels, fantasy and/or mythology, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book. Give it a try, it’s worth your time and money.
Cover: I really like the cover by Anne Cain. The mountain landscape is beautiful and it all gives off a very mysterious vibe, which fits the mood of the book perfectly.
ebook, 2nd Edition, 286 pages
Expected publication: December 16th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163533120X (ISBN13: 9781635331202)