I don't quite know how to classify this one? Is it paranormal? Is it romantic suspense? I wouldn't call it paranormal romance. Heavy on the suspense light on the romance.
I'm not always a fan of romantic suspense because of peculiar pacing issues within a book. To me, within quite a few romantic suspense novels, the pacing seems almost frenetic with slow bits here and there. This book didn't have that problem. It kept up a brisk pace throughout most of the book, and I didn't find myself getting bored or flipping to the end to see what had happened.
The beginning scenes open with Dr. Charlotte Stone just barely escaping a killer that's to become known as "The Boardwalk Killer," when she's a mere 17(?) years old. The second chapter establishes her as a grownup and working as a psychiatrist who studies serial killers. She's interviewing Michael Allen Garland, a serial killer who'd been convicted of murdering 7 women after picking them up in bars. She asks him to identify inkblot pictures and most of the internal dialogue focuses on Charlotte noticing Garland's animal magnetism. Sigh. Then while she's still at the prison, Garland (for a mysterious reason presumably) is murdered and his ghost comes back to haunt her.
The FBI is also on hand, asking Charlotte for her help, (at the prison no less incidentally) when they discover a killer who may, or may not be, the Boardwalk Killer.
I'll just go into several things I took exception to. The first is there's a couple of crime scene boo-boos. Now most folks probably don't give a damn.. but it took me out of the book as my face went all scrunchy and my internal voice went THAT WOULD NOT HAPPEN. IT WOULD CONTAMINATE/ FUCK UP THE CRIME SCENE. THE POLICE KNOW BETTER THAN TO DO THAT.
Okay, most people don't care about crime scene boo-boos! Onward ho! I can't get over how Charlotte managed to "Poof - Be Gone" with the ghost of Garland. By using some incense and jasmine, we're told that she's learned how to do this from her ghost busting gurus. Yes. It says that, no, I'm not kidding. She's used this before (when? WHY? nope, it's not explained) It apparently opens some portal to the other side? The explanations are pretty poor. (She only does this poof be gone thing once, and I'm left to wonder why.. but maybe I'm a little odd to hone in on a detail like that, but hey!) But fear not, dear reader, he comes & goes. It's all very random.
After agreeing to help the FBI.. the ghost of this convicted serial killer starts showing up more & more. Charlotte, instead of lusting after the handsome FBI agent, goes for the ghost of the serial killer. At this point, I'm just like FINE. I'M GOING WITH IT. BECAUSE IT TOTALLY MAKES SENSE A PSYCHIATRIST WHO STUDIES SERIAL KILLERS AND SAW HER FRIENDS MURDERED BY ONE WOULD TOTALLY GET THE HOTS FOR ONE. Smexy times are had. And I actually think the smexy was pretty well written, I just didn't care too much about the people that were having them.
Tepid explanations abound in this book. The ending kind of leaves it on that note as well. I had many issues with the romance & paranormal elements within the book... it left me going "huh?" quite a few times within the span of the novel.
First off, I won a copy through the First Reads giveaway on Goodreads.