Ghosts and Echoes
Lyn Benedict
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Buy *Ghosts and Echoes: A Shadows Inquiries Novel* by Lyn Benedict

Ghosts and Echoes: A Shadows Inquiries Novel
Lyn Benedict
368 pages
April 2010
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Death has a way of making the strong weak, facing life with more fears and insecurities than before - especially when guilt plays a big factor in the loss. Sylvie is no stranger to death and loss in her line of her work. It’s a shame innocents are just as susceptible as the guilty. Her conscience has had a field day with the increasing number of losses on the side of the good guys, and the guilt has taken its toll.

Determined to step away from her specialty cases as a private investigator of the magicus mundi, Sylvie plans to ride out her emotional turmoil—and struggle with her problematic teenage sister’s latest issues. A nice safe, boring case like the string of local B&E’s occurring in her shop’s community is perfect. Sylvie—a daughter of Lilith with the personal motto Cedo Nulli (I yield to none)—wants simplicity. Of course, fate never works that way.

A Chicago cop named Adam Wright has successfully tracked Sylvie through his dreams—incredibly detailed dreams about a woman he has never met—and the limit of his now exhausted bank account to her small Miami investigator’s shop. After being struck dying and being brought back, he claims to be haunted by a ghost and needs her help. Right - the potential this is a hoax or worse is nothing she wants to deal with right now. Adam, however, persists, sticking to her side 24/7. Good thing, too - he just may come in handy as a partner in her case against a terrifying evil.

The simple-seeming break-ins are much more than they seem, and local rich kids appear to be at the heart of the problem. Black magic oozes around the naïve, greedy teens, tightening a noose they refuse to acknowledge. Sylvie’s case grows more difficult by moment: her sister’s involvement with the black magic B&E’s/murders has become a reality; an old lover resurfaces in ghost-form, creating mental/emotional turmoil unlike anything Sylvie has known before; and an evil of unfathomable selfishness and greed has unleashed inconquerable foes to feast on the souls of the living. If Sylvie is to triumph, she will need the help of new allies and the resilience bred within the blood of a daughter of Lilith.

Ghosts and Echoes is author Lyn Benedict’s second novel in the "Shadows Inquiries" series. Sins and Shadows, the first book, debuted the characters and magicus mundi world central to this budding series. Many urban fantasy novels - Demon Inside by Stacia Kane, Leader of the Pack by Karen Maclnerney and Immortal Danger by Cynthia Eden, to name a few - feature protagonists with a pronounced paranormal attribute that gives them a cool factor and the necessary skills to kick butt, but so far the "Shadows Inquiries" series is surprisingly dull in that area. Protagonist Sylvie is supposed to be good with a gun, but the absence otherwise of a discernible talent and kind social skills make her difficult to like or root for. The novel overall is entertaining with the potential to be real competition in this genre, but not quite yet.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Sonia R. Polinsky, 2010

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