3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
While trying to get his old job back, Darrell Henshaw is working at a football camp in Cape May, New Jersey. One day, he is horrified when the ghost of a young woman appears to him wanting help. Considering all the danger and problems he had when he tried to help a ghost before, Darrell has no interest in helping another one. Yet it quickly becomes apparent that she is not going to leave him alone and that helping her may also save others.
When Darrell’s girlfriend, Erin, comes for a visit, they meet teenage runaway Cassie. She has also seen the spirit, who she calls the Haunted Bride. The three of them set out to discover the woman’s identity and the cause of her death and what her death may have to do with some missing teenage girls. As they dig deeper, they discover dark secrets and people who will do anything to keep them hidden.
Crimson at Cape May by Randy Overbeck is the second installment in the Haunted Shore Mystery series, but it can be read as a stand-alone book. However, there were some events that were left unresolved from the first book that are dealt with in this story. I haven't read the first book, but the author gave enough background information that I never felt confused. Those sections just didn’t interest me as much as the rest of the story.
My favorite thing about this book was the descriptive writing style, which helped to immerse me in the story. The description of Darrell’s first encounter with the ghost in chapter one drew me in immediately. The way the author described things made it easy for me to imagine what was happening. I particularly liked how detailed the descriptions of places were, like the beach and the buildings and homes in Cape May.
I liked all of the characters, and Cassie and Darrell were particularly well written. Darrell’s struggles with his OCD and worries about the potential dangers of helping the Haunted Bride made him a very sympathetic character. Most of the story is told from his perspective, so the reader is able to get to know him well. Cassie also evoked a lot of sympathy as she is at first mistrustful, with good reason, and there is a natural progression as she becomes more trusting of Darrell and Erin and is then willing to give others a chance at the end of the book. I liked that there were some chapters from her point of view because the reader is also able to get to know her better and connect with her.
The thing I liked the least about this story was the way the mystery was laid out. There was never anything in the story to send me in a different direction, like a red herring, so it didn’t take long for me to figure out the main things. I just wasn’t able to tell who exactly was involved in which parts. Honestly, one part of it was so obvious that I actually became annoyed with the characters during one scene where they laid out all the facts they had found so far and none of them figured it out.
Overall, despite the flaws that I mentioned, I did like this book and the characters and look forward to seeing what happens next in the series. Therefore, I have decided to rate this book 3 stars out of 4. Although I stopped keeping track at ten errors, there weren't many more than that, and considering the book is over 400 pages long, I do think that it was professionally edited. I recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries and stories with ghosts. As a warning, there are mentions of abuse, sex trafficking, and coerced sex. There isn’t much detail given about any of these topics, but I felt that they warranted a warning.
Crimson at Cape May
View: on Bookshelves | on Barnes and Noble