Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls - 5th in the Ghost Hunter Mystery series
Author: Victoria Laurie
Release Date: January 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Paranormal Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Ireland
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle (Mostly off scene)
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Intense
Victoria's Website/Blog: victorialaurie.com
What better place for a TV shoot than an isolated, ancient castle, complete with ghosts, treasure, and a phantom guarding said treasure? That’s the location for M.J. Holliday and cast and crew’s next episode for Ghoul Getters.
She’s stumbled across and been thrown some tough ghosts and otherworldly specters, but M.J. doesn’t know if she can outwit this phantom let alone "bust" it. Even with fellow intuitive/medium Heath helping, and best pal Gilley researching and working the equipment it’s going to be near impossible to send the phantom back where it came from (which is a good question, where did it come from?). It’s too powerful and evil.
Yet with the show’s producer "Gopher" mysteriously disappearing, they have no choice but to continue to try and bust the phantom while searching for him. There’s no telling where the phantom is holding Gopher. And while he is a pain, they’re not going to go off and leave him stranded. The phantom has killed and driven others to the brink of insanity. Not something they’d wish on anyone, including Gopher.
Though the phantom is very real, M.J., Gil, Heath, and crew are finding out there is more behind Gopher’s disappearance and the treasure than what they were initially told and had assumed. It’s going to take a great deal of courage and planning for them to put any plan into action. Even then it may not be enough.
First the negative…Okay, I don’t get it and I know for a certainty that I’m not the only one who doesn’t get it. Why has Steven been phased out? He had wit and logic that was a good foil to M.J.’s intensity. There was a tangible connection between M.J. and Steven, yet he’s been replaced with Heath. Don’t get me wrong, I like Heath, but unfortunately I don’t see or feel a connection between him and M.J., except intuitively.
Then there’s Gilley. Initially he was a big, brave, intelligent chicken. Understandably so as ghosts seem to see him as a target, causing him bodily injury. Yet the past couple of books in the Ghost Hunter series Gilley has been turned into a sniveling, bungling whiner with little of his intelligence shining through, and M.J. has had little patience with him and very few kind words for him except when placating him.
There was so much room and opportunity for M.J. and Steven to evolve as partners and as a couple. Gilley was the financial and business genius behind M.J.’s business, albeit not always to her liking. As readers, we invest ourselves in these books/series and its plots and characters, and I wish I understood the reason for these changes.
Now that that’s out of the way, let me say, despite my confusion and grievances (which had I had none, the book’s rating would have been a 5.0), I do enjoy the Ghost Hunter series. It’s intensely creepy and oh-so intriguing, with bits of wit thrown in for relief.
Ms. Laurie utilizes her gift and imagination to the benefit of the reader, creating gripping and spooky Ghost Hunter tales. We find ourselves with our noses deep between the pages, spending hour after hour warily turning each page as the creepy and sinister atmosphere becomes almost overwhelming. Ms. Laurie leaves us wanting more and wondering what’s going to happen next.
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