Thursday, 6 September 2012

Secret Hollows (Mary O'Reilly #7)

Author: Terri Reid
Genre: Mystery/Supernatural
Type: Kindle ebook
Series: Mary O'Reilly supernatural mystery series
Series Order: "Loose Endings" (2010), "Good Tidings (2010), "Never Forgotten (2011), "Final Call" (2011), "Darkness Exposed" (2011), "Natural Reaction (2011), "Secret Hollows" (2012)
First Published: April 2012
First Line: "The sound of his bicycle tires crunching against the gravel on the small one-lane road blended with the other sound of the country morning: cicadas humming, cardinals singing and a flock of Canada geese honking as they flew in formation overhead."

Synopsis: Timmy Beck is a typical 10 year old boy, except that Timmy died decades ago and now haunts a local lake.  Timmy was fireman Mike's childhood friend and needs help finding his killer in order to finally pass on.  As Mary, Bradley and their crew investigate further and further into the case they learn that Timmy wasn't the only boy who was murdered.

My Thoughts:  I've been hooked on this paranormal mystery series for a couple of years now.  It has a little bit of everything, including suspense, great character development, a bit of supernatural and some funny bits as well. 

Ms Reid writes a good mystery and has the ability to make me feel like I know where the larger storyline is going ... only to pull the rug out from under my feet and make the story go a totally different way.  The series does have its creepy bits but overall it's a mild mystery series.  In this book she threw in a huge shocker at the end which was so touching that it even made me tear up a bit.  Gotta love twists and shocking endings in a mystery! 

I will admit though that in some books the mystery takes a back seat to the relationships between the characters.  This is because Ms Reid manages to juggle quite a large group of characters who show up in each book and, as a reader, you get attached to them.  Mary has picked up her fair share of friends along the 7 books of this series although Ms Reid is very adept at reminding readers who is who so we never wonder who she's talking about. They are all distinct and bring their own flavour to the story

Please keep in mind that this is the kind of series that you have to read in order.  There are a couple of larger storylines which have been drawn out over the past several books (will Mary and Bradley finally marry, will they find out who his/where his daughter is ...) continue to be drawn out even in this seventh book of the series. I'm not sure how I feel about it actually. Yes, the missing daughter story is intriguing but I'm starting to be a little bored with Mary and her beau. Honestly, I always wanted her to be with another guy.  I'm hoping that some of these prolonged storylines will finally be resolved (and new ones begun) to keep the momentum of this great series high.

I think the only thing that I'd love to see change with the overall writing of this series is to omit the 'cutsie' writing which can get a overly saccharine and even seem immature at times.  Don't get me wrong, it's sweet to see Mary and Bradley talk to each other but, on the other hand, it doesn't seem as realistic to me.

If you're looking for a paranormal series which has its moments of suspense but overall it's a mild love story with wonderfully unique secondary characters then this is the series for you.   At only $2.99 each on the Kindle website these books are a steal!

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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