Hiro has always been able to see ghosts; in fact, his best friend is a ghost who has been hanging around for years. It isn’t always easy, especially as Hiro finds himself in the middle of trouble because of it more often than not. But one bright side is that it keeps Hiro in contact with his brother, Sean, who was killed not long ago. The two were incredibly close, and Hiro misses having Sean alive, but being able to see and talk to him definitely helps.
Hiro is determined to find out who is behind Sean’s murder, much to the dismay of grumpy Detective Maddox Booker, who wants nothing to do with Hiro. Maddox doesn’t understand how Hiro keeps ending up at crime scenes, not realizing Hiro is being drawn in by ghosts to help sort things out. When Hiro confesses the truth about being able to interact with ghosts, Maddox can’t help but think he is crazy. Yet it is hard to deny the proof right in front of him. And when there is another murder that seems like it could be tied to Sean’s, Maddox is tasked with bringing Hiro along as a consultant.
As the men dig into the latest murder, Maddox begins to soften that grumpy exterior and he and Hiro start to grow closer. However, it soon becomes clear that there are multiple cases tied together and a serial killer on the loose. Hiro is not willing to sit aside, much to Maddox’s dismay, as he can’t help but worry about Hiro ending up in danger. And his worries are not unfounded, as a vengeful ghost seems to have set her sights on Hiro and wants him dead. Between her, the killer, and a host of seemingly friendly ghosts who nevertheless won’t leave Hiro alone, finding out who is behind it all is not easy. But Hiro and Maddox make a good team and, working together, they may just stop the killer before it’s too late.
Ghost of Lies is the first book in Alice Winters’ new Medium Trouble series and I just loved it. You all know I love pretty much everything Winters’ writes and this book is very much in keeping with her style. There is humor and suspense and some craziness, plus a lot of heart and a great mystery. Hiro and Maddox start as enemies of a sort, as Maddox is a pretty grumpy guy and adorable sunshiney Hiro makes him nuts, particularly as he keeps showing up where there are dead bodies. Their dynamic is similar to many of the heroes in Winters’ books and, if you enjoy her humor, you are going to like this as well. Hiro eventually breaks through Maddox’s gruff exterior and we see Maddox’s softer, protective side come out. We also see him let down many of the walls he has built up and start to relax and joke and they have a fun dynamic. Like I said, if you like Winters’ other couples, I think you are going to enjoy Hiro and Maddox a lot.
I found the mystery engaging and nicely twisty, with enough turns to keep things interesting and well developed. The ending reveal didn’t work as well as I would have wanted, however, as I felt there wasn’t enough foundation laid in the rest of the book. But things kept me guessing and I like how the mystery unfolds. I think what makes this story stand out from other mystery/suspense is fact that Hiro is a medium and sees and interacts with ghosts. He has one ghost, Natalie, who has been with him forever and she pops in and out all day long. She is sassy and troublesome and makes Hiro a bit crazy, but it is clear he loves her and she is a major part of his life. There are a few other fun and friendly ghosts, including Hiro’s brother, Sean, who he sees more regularly. But there are also ghosts that show up when there has been a murder, or who will help out by answering questions. Plus, a vengeful and scary ghost who wants Hiro dead, and who no one can really help protect him from since they can’t see or touch her. It adds a great dynamic, fun and silly at times, sad at others, and scary at still others. There is also a cleverness to it all, as Maddox can’t see the ghosts. So when we are in Hiro’s POV, we are privy to all the interactions, but when we are in Maddox’s, we only see Hiro reacting to the invisible ghosts around him as Maddox does. It comes together well and adds a really fun element to the story.
Things wrap up with the mystery here, and there is an emotional ending that had me tearing up a bit. But this is just the start for Hiro and Maddox and I am really excited about more to come for this series. I really liked these guys and loved the set up for the books and am definitely looking forward to more.