Do you know what’s better than finding a new to you author? Finding one that has a ghost story so close to Halloween! Karen Michelle Nutt is new to me but according to Amazon, she has a few historical, paranormal and time travel books out there. When her review request came in, the mention of a psychic helping a woman find her father’s killer had me at hello, I mean, Halloween is so close, I can taste the candy! Let me tell you about it.
Lars Gunner was the front man for a rock and roll band called the Silent Plaids. Twenty-three years ago he died in what has been considered a tragic accident with possible suicidal leanings. His career was on top of the world, he was 27 years old (yep, there’s a nod to the 27 Club) and he had a sweet baby girl and a crazy wife that drove him mad on the regular, and not always in the best ways. Things came to an abrupt ending when he died the night of a big, family/band Christmas party.
Now, flash forward 23 years, his baby girl Cecilia, is now in her late 20s and his widowed wife is yet again, melting down on the anniversary of Lars’ death. Cecilia heads over to their family home to help settle her mother down and accidentally stumbles upon her father’s old journal. When she opens it, she basically opens a whole can of worms. Finally, Lars, who has been haunting the music room of his old house, can speak to someone, specifically, Cecilia. She has always felt his presence but now, she can see his ghostly form and have an actual conversation with him. Needless to say, she’s freaked out but together, they decide he was probably murdered that night and they set about trying to solve his mystery so he can pass on over to the other side. Lars feared someone was after him back in the day and he enlisted the help of a medium. Cecilia’s search for said medium lands her face to face with the medium’s son, Kaleb who is not only sexy and tall, he’s also a psychic and can see Lars as well. Together they try to piece together the events of Lars’ fateful evening but now that the can of worms is open, someone is trying to close it at all costs. Danger Will Robinson, danger in them thar hills!
Nutt introduces us to a big cast of characters. The estranged ex, the former bandmates, the old manager, some security folks, a masked bad guy, honestly some of them read a touch redundant, especially for a standalone. I get where she was going, she needed these folks to cast doubt and throw us off the trail but it was a lot to take in and keep straight…for a standalone. Sometimes I wasn’t 100% sure who I should be invested in. Alas, the story moves fast so I kept going. The transitions weren’t always smooth and some of the detours were odd but the story was interesting. I also found a couple of grammatical mistakes, but I’m not sure how early in the production process I read this one. Hopefully the “could care less” pet peeve I have was corrected before go time. Fear not, even with a couple of bumps, I read and enjoyed END OF THE ROAD in one sitting. Kaleb gives a deft explanation of ghosts and I really enjoyed learning about the differences between ghosts and spirits as it relates to this story. I enjoyed watching Lars connect with his daughter (even though I found it really odd how little Cecilia seemed to care about him early on – that family dynamic was fraught with issues!). END OF THE ROAD is an enjoyable read even with a fairly predictable bad guy – the kicker is exactly how bad he’s willing to be, geez.
Smooches,Tags: 3 stars, ghosts, mystery, rockstar, scandal, suspense