Antonio Simon, Jr
on Aug. 27, 2013 :
A unique paranormal twist on the time-honored detective story.
Harry Gill's death marks the latest traffic fatality on the "Road to Hell" bypass. While ordinarily the matter would be left to the police, Raphael Drake and Sam Watkins, private investigators of the Aquarius Agency, are called in to investigate the mysterious goings-on. On hearing reports of shadowy figures seen of the roadway at the time of each incident, they suspect there may be an otherworldly cause to the deaths. Their investigation hopscotches across several paranormal events -- poltergeists, ley lines, druids and witches -- resulting in their coming to the foreboding notion that a still greater threat looms.
Admittedly, what with the mysterious deaths, a haunted roadway, and other occurrences, there is a lot going on in this novel. It is all artfully handled, but you'll need to pay close attention or else you'll miss an important element of the story. It is, after all, a detective story, and as with any detective story there are clues to unearth and leads to follow. It may all seem piecemeal at first blush, but by the end everything jives together.
The writing is crisp and to the point, as you would expect from a hard-boiled detective novel, but without the cynical grit typical of that genre. Direct as the language is, it's also approachable, witty, and engaging.
The characters are a motley gang. You've got Sam, the hard line ex-cop, Raphael, who may be a burgeoning mystic due to his unique sensitivities, Gemini the tarot card fortune teller, and Denny the newspaper reporter. How a group this varied can work together is anybody's guess, saying nothing of how one can expect them to solve the mystery, but suffice it to say that it's a lot of fun to watch them try.
Definitely give this one a try -- it's a good read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)