Rating: 5 stars
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“The things we take inside ourselves about our loved ones stay with us for life. Nothing can take them away, and we pass them on…That’s the immortality we have.
I may have done a happy dance when I saw Tinsel Fish, the sequel to Harper Fox’s Halloween short, Once Upon a Haunted Moor. The idea of reading more about Lee, the psychic who believes he is not, and Gideon, the copper, who is rapidly falling in love with the enigma that Lee is shaping up to be, just made me giddy! Not only was the original story a spine-tingling scary tale, but it was also a sweet beginning romance that left much room for future stories to evolve. I am so pleased to report that Tinsel Fish did not disappoint. In fact, it was even better than the first!
The story picks up shortly after the first with Gideon taking a holiday in hopes of spending time with Lee. It seems Lee has been busy both tracking down elusive mysteries and filming on “haunted” locations in London. Gideon is just a bit uneasy about asking Lee to holiday with him due to the fact that they have not had a great deal of communication in the last few weeks and everything is still all so new between them. However, after meeting again, it is apparent that both men still have deep feelings for the other. Later that same night Lee gives a performance and boldly tells the audience that he is not any kind of a psychic but rather that he feels the connection we have with loved ones who have left us.
What I do believe is that, as we live with the people we love – or even with those we hate – we take some part of them inside ourselves. And when those people die, that part stays with us. So if I tap into anything that seems to come from what’s called the other side, I believe I’m reading signals you carry about with you from your connection to those people.
But something happens during the show that literally knocks Lee off his feet—a presence, evil and strong, makes itself known. From there Lee and Gideon go to a private home where that same entity attacks Lee again, this time possessing him and it takes a visit from Gideon’s rigidly conservative brother to undo the hold the evil has on Lee. From there, it is a race against time to find the source of the evil and hopefully usher it away from this world into the next.
As I write this, I realize that my synopsis is not doing justice to the rich story that author Harper Fox has written. To break this down to a simple paranormal offering is to limit the beauty of this author’s prose and her richly drawn characters. This is so much more than a “poltergeist” or “evil possession” novella. Rather it is a love story wrapped up in a paranormal theme where each event that takes place reveals just a bit more about Lee, his gift, and his past. It also gives us a window into the depth of feeling that Gideon has developed for Lee. I love these two men. They are, at turns, both vulnerable and strong and they cling to each other with a gut-felt determination to make their burgeoning relationship work.
Tinsel Fish was a compelling story with twists and turns that left me guessing until the end. Instead of revealing all about Lee, it merely tipped the bottle open and spilled out just enough to make me hungry for more about these two magnificent men. I hope we get to see these characters again. In the meanwhile, enjoy Tinsel Fish—I highly recommend it to you!