Saturday, July 28, 2012

Return of the Raven by Jamie Scarratt

Publisher:         Blue Feather Books

Return of the Raven is the second volume in the Wolf’s Tales mysteries.  Red Wolverton and Evadne Davenport have formed a private investigation firm despite the vast differences in their lives and backgrounds.  Red is still recovering from their last adventure and trying to adapt to the lifestyle to which Evadne has introduced her, but isn’t having a lot of success.  She’s also having trouble determining exactly what her personal relationship with Evadne should be.

In this book the women are asked by a friend of Evadne’s to investigate the strange occurrences at his manor house.  They find themselves dealing with phantoms, ancient prophecies and secret societies.  Their relationship is also tested by misunderstandings and outside forces, including two women who seem intent on drawing the partners apart.  Red and Evadne have to find a way to regain their trust for each other because, according to the prophecy, they are the key to the next battle between good and evil.

This was an excellent book to read.  It was well edited with no mistakes.  The story unfolded at exactly the right pace and the characters were extremely well developed.  Scarratt struck the perfect balance for a book in a series.  She only included enough from the previous story to keep the reader informed about what was happening and what previous events might have influenced the current ones, but she didn’t bog down the book with extraneous information.  If anything, what is revealed in this book makes the first one more plausible. 

One of Scarratt’s real strengths is her ability to use the paranormal aspects of her story in a way that makes them seem normal and possible.  Not much reality has to be suspended for the reader to completely buy into what is happening.  Scarratt also does a good job of keeping the mystery in the mystery.  Even when the reader realizes what is happening, it’s not enough to give away the next steps in the progression.  This is partly because Scarratt isn’t afraid to take her characters into bad places, behaviors that make them look bad or cause them pain.  The reader can’t be sure what is going to happen next.

Return of the Raven is a true paranormal mystery.  Fans of both genres can enjoy this book.  It’s one of the ones that is hard to put down once it’s started.  Those who like romances may be frustrated that Red and Evadne are taking so long to find each other, but there is hope.  Scarratt dangles enough at the end to indicate that there might be a third book and the reader will want to have it.

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