Friday, October 08, 2021

Fiction Review: The Sense of Reckoning

Every fall, I love reading for the R.I.P. (Readers Imbibing Peril) Challenge and enjoying mysteries, thrillers, paranormal stories, dystopians, and other dark books. But the absolute best kind of book for fall is one that combines mystery, thriller-action, and ghosts all in one story! That's where the Ann Kinnear Suspense series by Matty Dalrymple comes in. I love this series and enjoyed every moment of the second book, The Sense of Reckoning.

Ann can sense spirits, and she sometimes uses her talents to help prospective home buyers find out if their dream home is haunted or to help the police solve a crime. In the first book, The Sense of Death, Ann aided the police in Philadelphia to solve a missing persons case by obtaining information from the spirit of someone who'd died. That story ended with an action-packed scene of violence that is still haunting Ann ... perhaps literally. Needing to get away from her normally peaceful cabin in the Adirondacks, Ann heads back to West Chester, PA, to visit her brother and his partner, Scott. While there, a fellow spirit-senser named Garrick who Ann had met before asks for her help with a case on Mount Desert Island, Maine. Thinking the road-trip vacation and a new case will be good for her, Ann's brother sends her off to Maine, accompanied by the affable Scott. The two of them settle into a charming B&B in Southwest Harbor, and Ann begins to help Garrick. His case involves a decades-old mystery that began during a historic fire in 1947 that destroyed almost half of the island and much of the town of Bar Harbor. The mystery is centered on a historic but run-down hotel on the water, and the hotel's sole remaining heir, who is desperate to save her family's legacy. Both Garrick and Ann seek to solve the mystery and save the hotel by speaking to the ghost of the owner's brother, who committed suicide in the hotel. As the narrative moves back and forth between the past and the present, tensions--and danger--increase for Ann in the quest to solve the mystery and also keep herself safe.

As with The Sense of Death, this book is a twisty mystery/thriller with plenty of action and ghostly goings-on, but it is so much more, too. I loved the historical side of this novel and enjoyed learning about this part of Mount Desert Island's history that I'd never heard before (the 1947 fire was real). And, as always, the author includes wonderful details of the location and setting that make it come to life for the reader. In this case, Mount Desert Island, Maine, is one of my family's favorite places, and we have spent plenty of time in Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, and Southwest Harbor, as well as exploring the island's gorgeous mountains, lakes, and coastline. I delighted in every mention of a place we've been--Jordan Pond House eating popovers, Echo Lake, Thurston's Lobster Pound, and more. I loved this novel and can't wait to read more of this series! In fact, I have been talking so enthusiastically about the series that I finally convinced my husband to read it, even though he says he doesn't like ghost stories. He's currently well into the first book ... and enjoying it. Highly recommended and perfect for fall!

301 pages, William Kingsfield Publishers


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  1. It's fun to read a book set in a place you know well as it really adds to the knowledge and enjoyment of the book. I am not into the ghosts, but this sounds like a good read.

    1. Yes, I love reading books set in familiar places!