Published by: Widdershins Press LLC
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Reviewed by: Erin
Rating: An exciting continuation of the Spirits series, featuring an impulsive inventor, a conflicted medium, a very angry ghost, and the most exciting climax on a clocktower since Back to the Future!
Plot: After the events of Reyhome Castle, Henry Strauss expected the Psychical Society to embrace his application of science to the study of hauntings. Instead, the society humiliates and blacklists him. His confidence shaken, he can’t bring himself to admit the truth to his lover, the handsome medium Vincent Night.
Vincent’s new life in Baltimore with Henry is disrupted when a friend from the past asks for help with a haunting. In the remote town of Devil’s Walk, old ties and new lies threaten to tear the lovers apart, if a fiery spirit bent on vengeance doesn’t put an end to them first.
Review: Dangerous Spirits picks up not long after the events of Restless Spirits. Henry and Vincent are a couple and have gone into business together. Henry is trying to sell his ideas to the Psychical Society, with the hope that their support will lead to more business. When things at the society don’t go as planned, Henry reacts badly, and, being Henry, makes some pretty bad decisions. That won’t bite you in the ass later, will it, Henry? Of course not. Luckily, he has a temporary reprieve in the form of a new job through a friend of Vincent’s old mentor. Vincent still hasn’t worked through his grief and guilt surrounding the death of his mentor, so he’s not thinking clearly either.
The book then takes us to Pennsylvania, where a small town on the outskirts of a new steel mill is being haunted by a vengeful spirit. They need to remove the spirit, save the town, and somehow deal with the issues raised by Vincent and Lizzie’s old friend showing up. What I like is that Henry and Vincent are adults, with complicated backgrounds, motivations, and needs that don’t always mesh with each others’. It’s nice to see something so human and real– the shifts and compromises and negotiations and fights of two adults merging lives — in the midst of the awakened dead running rampant and the ghost setting fire to various town inhabitants.
The heartbreaking mystery surrounding the ghost is revealed slowly through the book; Hawk really knows how to make it hurt and she doesn’t back down from the gruesome. And yet, just like in Restless Spirits, it is the human betrayals which hit the hardest. The ghost is terrifying and people are dying awfully, but the ones we love us the most can hurt us the worst or make us our best selves. If this all sounds dire, rest assured that this is ultimately an uplifting book where the good guys win and the bad guys lose, and there is plenty of comedy along the way!
Lizzie and Jo also get their time to shine here, of course. Jo, in particular, is a joy to watch as she develops her own mechanical talents.
Things you may not enjoy: I’d have liked to see more of Henry and Vincent getting together; it felt like it went quickly into an established relationship. Also, if murder/ghosts/horror isn’t your thing…maybe try a different author.
Things I loved: The character development of all four main characters, the deepening relationship between Henry and Vincent, the mystery, and all the fun world building!