Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Poltergeist - Kat Richardson



Poltergeist
A Greywalker Novel
Kat Richardson
Roc

Urban Fantasy

Months ago, as the result of an unexpected altercation with a client, Seattle private investigator Harper Blaine was clinically dead for almost two minutes. That experience (not a spoiler, it happens on the first pages of the first book, GREYWALKER) left Harper with the unique ability to walk in the real world and the world of spirits and shadows. She’s a Greywalker; but without any other Greywalkers to teach her the ropes, she’s learning, bit by bit, with the help of a couple of professors whose house holds a ghost, and a possibly-friendly local vampire.

In this second installment of the series, Harper is called in to investigate a case that should be perfect for her. A local university professor is attempting to repeat an experiment performed in the 70s. A group of researchers may or may not have actually created a poltergeist. Whether it was real or not; whether it was the spirit of a person or the result of the combined mind energies present; is still at issue. In the present, something is going wrong with the experiments. After ‘priming the pump’ with artificially positive results to increase the confidence of the participants, the researcher is now recording results that are completely off the charts.

The question, it would seem, is whether someone else is manipulating the data; or is there a real poltergeist in the house? And if there is a real poltergeist, they’ll need Harper’s unique abilities to verify it. Before that can happen, one of the participants is found murdered in his apartment. Some believe that the entity may have caused his death; others believe a more earthbound agent caused his death. Either way, it’s up to Harper to find out what happened.

Those who enjoyed GREYWALKER will, no doubt, enjoy this second outing. Sadly, the author falls victim to the sophomore slump a bit here. The story involving the experiments is quite interesting, but far too much time is spent following Harper around, questioning various individuals. The characters remain much the same in terms of development, and, most disappointing, “the Grey” is not explained in any further way. POLTERGEIST could easily be read as a murder mystery with a paranormal backdrop. As such, it’s very entertaining. I’m hoping that future installments will delve more deeply into the continuing characters, and “the Grey.”

Rating: 7
August 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-46150-6 (trade paperback)

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