Friday, August 12, 2011

Ximora by Patty G. Henderson

Publisher:                Black Car Publishing

Ximora is the fourth volume in the Brenda Strange mystery series.  Like all of the others it combines genres to mix mystery, suspense and horror with the supernatural.

This book follows The Missing Page two years later when Brenda is finally coming out of her shell of grief caused by the death of her partner.  Her friend Cubby is relieved when Brenda shows an interest in the world by agreeing to help with a series of gruesome murders that are puzzling Tampa police detective Lisa Chambliss.  Chambliss is extremely attractive and the feelings that Brenda begins to have for her are the proof that she's ready to move on with her life.  Simultaneously, Brenda is enmeshed in a family secret when her grandmother dies and wills enhanced psychic powers and leadership of the family to Brenda.  Those powers will come in handy as Brenda finds herself chasing evil from the past through myth and reality.  The ending is desperate as Brenda races to save the life of the most innocent victim.

Ximora is not the strongest story in the Strange series, but it does reintroduce the character after a hiatus.  It also sets up the possibility of another book with new powers to be explored and a possible relationship for Brenda.  Ximora is one of the least developed characters in the book and seems almost a device to convey the rest of the story and provide a framework to tie everything together.  There are also references to previous books that may not be clear to any reader who has not followed the series.  However there is drama in the story and a particularly harrowing scene at the end does give the book some punch.  The relationship between Brenda and Lisa also is interesting because Lisa comes to Brenda for help, but doesn't or won't believe in her abilities despite the evidence that is in front of her.  Seeing how or if they work this out could be interesting for later books.

Patty G. Henderson is an experienced author and knows how to tell a story.  This is a book for fans of horror and supernatural stories.

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