Rating: 4.25 stars
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When Maddox and Hiro get called in to investigate a murder, it seems like just a typical case. But things change when the investigation leads to a man who has the same ability to see ghosts as Hiro. The problem is that Ambrose isn’t using his skills to help people like Hiro does. No, he has his ghosts working for him to wreak havoc. Even worse, Ambrose is determined to pull Hiro into his web of murder and lies by refusing to communicate with anyone else. Ambrose wants to toy with everyone, to play a deadly “game” that only he finds entertaining. But with Ambrose managing to orchestrate one murder after another, Hiro has no choice but to play along.
As much power as Ambrose seems to have over both his ghosts and the situation, he has underestimated Hiro and Maddox and the connection they have with one another and their ghostly friends. With Reggie, Natalie, and Keaton at his back, Hiro has allies of his own in the ghostly world. And with his abilities getting stronger, Hiro has more control and skill at interacting with ghosts than ever. On top of that, Hiro has Maddox, the man he loves, and someone who is determined to see Hiro safe and support him no matter what. The killer may be powerful, but with Hiro’s own skills and the strength of those who love him, Hiro and Maddox may just have the chance to stop a madman.
Ghost of Deceit is the third book in Alice Winters’ Medium Trouble series, and this is turning into one my favorite series from the author. The books are so clever and twisty, and this one is no exception. I am constantly impressed at Winters’ ability to write these complex, multi-layered mysteries that evolve over a long book. Yet at the same time, things never get convoluted or hard to follow. She just leads us along, slowly unveiling new facets of the story until the mystery all breaks open in fascinating ways. As with the last book in this series, I really can’t reveal too much about the mystery for fear of giving things away. But I loved how it sets Hiro up against someone else who has a similar ability to see ghosts, but instead of using that power for good, he is using it for evil. And as we learn more about the motivations behind the murders, it creates even more of a juxtaposition between the characters. Once again, Winters creates a really fascinating mystery that left me guessing until the end just how it would all play out.
One of my favorite parts of this series is the collection of ghosts that accompany Hiro and they continue to play such an important role in the stories, and in this book in particular. They are wild and often used for comic relief, but I love that as much as they drive Hiro crazy (in a mostly good way), they are rock solid and there for him when he needs it. I also love the addition of Keaton to the group, adding to Natalie and Reggie. Keaton is the perfect straight man of the three, as the other two are often ridiculous. His crush on Reggie (and Reggie’s crush in return) are also fun, as Keaton just can’t admit how he feels. (There is also a really nice scene between Keaton and Hiro where they discuss this more that adds some nice depth to the dynamic.) I also feel like Keaton brings a lot to the mystery side of things, as while all the ghosts can kind of snoop around on Hiro and Maddox’s behalf, as a former cop, Keaton can really add a lot the investigation and is able to provide a lot of practical help with police work. I also really liked how we learned more about Natalie and her background here, something that has been a mystery even to Hiro. It all plays really nicely with the larger story, both on the investigation side, but also the emotional one.
I also really am enjoying the development of the relationship between Maddox and Hiro. We really see how much they care about each other, how much they want to protect each other, and how well they work as a team. Hiro is finally getting recognized for his abilities by at least some of the other cops and it allows Maddox and him to work more as a team. But we also see how solid they have become in their relationship and I just find them such an appealing couple.
Overall. I think this is another wonderful installment in the series. I love the way Winters is crafting such complex, really fascinating mysteries with these books, while at the same time, really building up the emotional side. I am really super excited about this series and very eager for more.