Paranormal gumshoe strikes again.
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Detective
No. of pages: 226
Whoever said that nothing ever happens in a small town clearly never visited Dearmont, Maine. It’s getting hotter than hell around here. When the dead start crawling out of their graves, you know something’s up.
If there’s one thing I hate more than zombies, it’s having my memories erased by magic. That’s a real bummer, right? So when I get a chance to break the spell that’s locked away part of my mind, I take it, even if it means dabbling with ancient Egyptian sorcery.
Sometimes you shouldn’t go poking at things that are buried.
Because you end up having to deal with an army of the dead.
This only felt like a mild improvement from the first novel. I wasn’t so much into the camp sexist machinations of our protagonist Alec. While I enjoyed the paranormal angle and his solving of mysterious cases, the machismo and constant attractive women swirling around him, eager to do his bidding had the feminist in me grinding my teeth.
The second half of the book was much better – it was so focused on the action, the author had no chance to waste on bravado and cliché. I don’t mind a bit of campy b-grade horror, but I really wanted something a little more original. I was going to say in the review for the debut that it reminded me of Charlene Harris of Sookie Stackhouse fame (but I have not read those novels and feel like it would be an insult) and again, I got that niggle, how there was an interwoven plot of mystical creatures and battles to be won.
The arc with Alec’s assistant, Felicity, was cool. As too, the plot twist with his ‘flirtation-friend’ Mallory – both formidable women in their own right, but I feel like the author does not give them the space to really shine. ‘Buried Memory’ is still steeped in that Private Eye 1950’s era of a tough, wisecracking gumshoe who gets all the dames.
One thing did puzzle me though – given it is a detective novel, shouldn’t he solve some cases? He did in the first novel…. but in ‘Buried Memory’ when the Deputy asked him to look into the church that her dead mother had gotten involved with before her demise… well, after he palmed it off (as I find he tends to do a lot) was simply completely forgotten. Where was the plot of this story going? Instead we got an entirely different direction. I got a little steamed actually. There wasn’t even mention of it at the end of the book like it would be continued in the next instalment ‘Dark Magic.’
I’m starting to find, even though I feel the stories a little gauche, they are still engaging and highly entertaining in a ‘Vampire Diaries’ kind of way. I have a morbid fascination to find out what happens next – but I wouldn’t quite call it a guilty pleasure. I really feel if this collection of novels had a good content edit and a more feminine viewpoint inserted into the narrative they would be stellar reads.
Wright can construct a great action scene, build tension and pace, and manage to give you an unpleasant shiver over something unknown in the dark. So he has a lot of elements going for him and this collection of novels. Plus they are all around the 200 page mark in length, so easy to read in half a day. Not a great investment to get a fun, nostalgic kick.
So, I’d only recommend to those who love paranormal detective novels with plenty of machismo and campy fun. It’s totally like a b-grade horror noir film on the pages, and not to be taken too seriously. With all the nit-picking I’ve done to this series, the books are engaging, entertaining and highly addictive.
Here’s to seeing what kind of trouble Alec Harbinger P.I. gets into next…
Overall feeling: Things that go bump in the night…
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