Things are going well for Hiro and Maddox. They have fallen hard for one another and are considering moving in together. Hiro is even getting a bit more respect from Maddox’s fellow police officers and has been helping out on cases, though there are still plenty of skeptics. Even with their ghostly friends, Natalie and Reggie, driving Hiro crazy at times, the men enjoy their company and Maddox particularly loves being able to connect again with his best friend, even if it’s only through Hiro.
Things get shaken up when Hiro and Maddox are called to a murder scene. There should be a ghost hovering nearby, considering the grisly death, but Hiro can’t find him anywhere. As they start digging more into the mystery, Hiro and Maddox are getting more questions than answers as nothing is as it should be. As more bodies pile up, the case gets increasingly complex. Hiro’s ability to see and speak to ghosts is usually helpful, but he now he keeps finding himself surrounded by ghosts who seem to be trying their best to stop him. Even more scary, the various ghosts in Hiro’s life seem to be gaining in strength from being around him. With a little help from the friendly ghosts in their lives, Hiro and Maddox get closer to the truth behind the murders. But the closer they get, the bigger the threat they are to the killer, and someone wants them stopped at all costs.
Ghost of Truth is the second book in Alice Winters’ Medium Trouble series and I think this one is even better than the first, primarily based on the strength of the mystery, which I found so incredibly well done. You may have noticed that I was pretty vague about the actual case, and that is because it is almost impossible to talk about it in any detail without spoiling things. Part of the fun here is that so much that happens on the case is unexpected, and each time things seem to have a next logical step, it goes differently than anticipated. As readers, we follow along with Hiro and Maddox as they try to figure out just what is going on. The mystery is confusing — but not in the sense that the story is poorly written or constructed, or that it’s hard to understand. It is confusing in the sense that there are all these pieces that seem like they should fit together a certain way, but just don’t, and the guys don’t know why. Then, suddenly, things align and we get a major piece of the puzzle and so much all comes together until the truth of what’s going on is ultimately revealed. I found the mystery just fascinating and so well developed. It takes a deft hand as a writer to keep the mystery off kilter but, at the same time, make it interesting, suspenseful, and all make sense. We get some high intensity, a lot of twisty moments, real danger and threats, and of course, a nice dose of humor as befits an Alice Winters’ story. I think from a pure mystery standpoint, this was one of my favorite books by Winters.
I continue to love Hiro and Maddox together and here we see them as a happy team. They play off one another so well in the investigation, as well as on the personal side. I love how Maddox’s gruffer side is so tender with Hiro, as well as the playfulness that Hiro brings out in him. I also love that while Maddox is very protective over Hiro, especially as Hiro finds himself in danger so often, Maddox still respects him and doesn’t try to keep him sidelined. These two are a great pair and a lot of fun together.
We also get more time with our ghostly gang, including Reggie and Natalie, as well as a new ghost who enters their little group (plus, a few appearances by Stripper Ghost!). The dynamic here is a lot of fun, as their interactions tend to bring comic relief. But there are also some deeper moments, as we see the friendships and connections they all have. There are some intense scenes as Hiro and Maddox are in danger and the ghosts are scared and want to help, but are unable to take action because they aren’t corporeal. So I think this interaction highlights Winters’ ability to combine humor, suspense, and more serious moments together so seamlessly.
Overall, I found this one just incredibly engaging and I couldn’t put it down. The mystery is just so well done and so cleverly put together. I love Hiro and Maddox and all these side characters and I am so excited for more adventures.