Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wide Open (Wide Open #1) by Deborah Coates

1st in a trilogy
304 p.
Published: Tor Books
Available now
source: Provided by Tor for review
When Sergeant Hallie Michaels comes back to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her. 
The sheriff says that Dell's death was suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it. Something happened or Dell's ghost wouldn't still be hanging around. Friends and family, mourning Dell's loss, think Hallie's letting her grief interfere with her judgment. 
The one person who seems willing to listen is the deputy sheriff, Boyd Davies, who shows up everywhere and helps when he doesn't have to.

As Hallie asks more questions, she attracts new ghosts, women who disappeared without a trace. Soon, someone's trying to beat her up, burn down her father's ranch, and stop her investigation. 
Hallie's going to need Boyd, her friends, and all the ghosts she can find to defeat an enemy who has an unimaginable ancient power at his command. 
My Thoughts:
Hallie is coming home from Afganistan for an unwelcome leave. Her sister died and now she has to deal with all the consequences that come from that. Oh, and not too long ago Hallie, herself, died and now can see ghosts. Knowing that her sister wouldn't commit suicide she starts to find evidence to support that theory and the threats she starts to receive confirms it. Now how does she deal with a family tragedy and find the killer before her leave runs out?

The murder mystery, how it was done was very engaging and kept my interest. In fact, I had a hard time putting the book down because I wanted more information, wanted to know what, why and how. You are not left wanting after the end and everything is wrapped up and you are satisfied. It is a good beginning book to this trilogy. Hallie is also a good protagonist and was a sympathetic character despite the fact that she holds everyone at arm's distance. You really rooted for her throughout the story.

My biggest criticism was the way she handled some of the investigation. She would get "clues" and then not follow through with people who possibly had that information. Still, even with this niggle of mine, the way she came to her conclusions did work for me. I also didn't love the way some of the characters interacted with one another. It didn't often feel organic and I also think that led to me not seeing the "bad" guy as not being such a scary person as he was supposed to be. Still, these are really small criticisms and did not interfere with my enjoyment of the mystery.

I give this book 4 stars. It's an interesting murder mystery, paranormal book. I really recommend it to those that love a good mystery. The town is interesting and I look forward to the author fleshing out a few of those characters.

21 comments:

  1. Hmm, I love a good ghost story as much as the next person (and perhaps more), and I think this sounds very interesting, but I don't know how well I'd do with the interaction between the characters. I'm very sensitive about dialogues flowing naturally, and without that, most books just don't work for me. But I AM curious and willing to give it a try.

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    1. I think you'll enjoy it. I practically threw it at my mom knowing she'd enjoy it and she has! :)

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  2. That cover really draws me in! Plus, when there's a good mystery afoot, I'm there. Not one I've heard of but one I'm going to put on my library list for the summer.

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  3. Hmmm. This sounds like a super interesting read Melissa, and I of course love a good murder mystery, even if the one trying to solve the mystery isn't following up on clues she should:) That cover is stunning as well!

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    1. I think that happens a lot in the book, but still she comes off as very confident and smart. :)

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  4. A paranormal murder mystery? I'm intrigued. Great review, I'm so glad that this worked out for you despite that niggle.

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  5. Paranormal Murder Mystery! OHHHHHHHHH me!

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  6. I'm loving the cover! Very mysterious.

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  7. It's great that depiste these points you really liked it. I didn't know it and I confess with this cover I wouldn't have suspected the topic. But it's interesting, I'm curious about her death now.

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    1. It really was interesting. The complaints were there, but minor. :)

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  8. This sounds different and good, despite a few qualms you had, I did not read the words love triangle or cliffhanger so that is always a good thing especially when starting a series.

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    1. All books have qualms, but no cliffie or triangle! :) Plus, there are only 3. :D

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  9. I'm glad you enjoyed this mystery in spite of your minor issues (I also hate when characters don't immediately pursue leads in a mystery, it's like they're trying to trip the plot up! :D).

    Gosh I love that cover too. I'll have to give this one a try!

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  10. This takes place in SD? I'd read it just for that since that's where I'm from. Though now I'm curious about what part of SD.
    I love books with ghosts and this one sounds really good. I think it would bug me that she didn't follow through with clues though. Glad you still enjoyed it!

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  11. I haven't heard of this one (probably because I've been MIA for awhile), but it sounds like a good read! I also love the cover art. It's so creepy and colorful!

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  12. I love a good mystery and add a ghost to it and I am all over it. Despite the clue issue and bad guy this does sound like a great start to the series. Lovely review Melissa!

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