23 April, 2013

#BookReview :: Murder on a Ghost Ship by Diane Rapp

When the president of Constellation Cruise Lines, Emily Schultz, buys an old cruise ship at a bargain price, she doesn’t discover there’s a ghost aboard until it’s too late to cancel the deal. Desperate for help, Emily calls Kayla Sanders and Natalia Baliskov back to work. They embark on a frantic search to discover the identity of the ghost and her murderer. The “Lady” tries to communicate by flooding Kayla with crazy visions of the ship from her final voyage. Kayla realizes the ghost is afraid her murderer will kill another passenger sailing on their next cruise. The entire ship is filled with suspects and potential victims, since everyone on the Sea Mist is a repeat passenger. 
The investigation ramps up when Kayla’s fiancé, Steven Young joins her onboard the ship. Suspended from Interpol after his partner got killed, Steven feels guilty and incompetent. While tracking down clever smugglers selling black market antiquities throughout the Mediterranean, Steven’s partner got too close. Steven doesn’t know there’s a leak inside Interpol! After the smugglers murdered his partner, they traced Steven to Colorado and wrecked Kayla’s cottage. Now they know he’s onboard the Sea Mist and want to kill him. Kayla must interpret her visions from the Lady in time to prevent another murder, and Steven needs to unmask the ruthless leader of the smuggling ring to get his job back. Their future depends on mutual success.

The president of Constellation Cruise Lines, Emily Schultz, discovers that the ship that she has recently acquired has a resident ghost with violent temper tantrums. She asks Kayla to help her before her most recent acquisition becomes a source for loss. Assisted by Natalia Baliskov and Stephen Young, Kayla starts by trying to find out who the ghost once was. Soon it becomes clear that the woman was a previous passenger of the Sea Mist, who had met an untimely death on board. She was pushed to her death and now she is trying to prevent another murder on the ship. But it is a difficult job as the current passengers on board is all second time passengers of Sea Mist. There’s also another parallel story going on with Steven being on board as he is suspended from Interpol after his partner is murdered. The people who murdered Steven’s partner are now tracking him and intent to kill him too.

It was only after I had started reading this book that I realized that this was the second part of a series. But after a couple of chapters, I was relieved as though the main characters seem to be connected through the first book; this book can be treated as a standalone. For a first time reader of this series, it wasn’t really difficult for me to get to know the characters. They slowly built up for me as the story progressed and I found it easy to feel connected to them through the printed words. I have to say that I loved Steven and Kayla. They have their own fair share of troubles, yet they emerge as strong and loveable characters.

The storyline has mystery with a touch of paranormal and action that keeps it interesting. It has a kind of slow build up and though at the beginning I was getting impatient, the pace soon picked up and looking back that build up was necessary. With secrets kept and unveiled and each passenger under suspicion at least once, it was a thrilling ride to take on board of the Sea Mist. The author has also managed to paint vivid pictures of people and situations through her pen and so it was pretty easy to get into the story.

For me this was an amazing discovery and cannot wait to look up the other works of this author.

Buy this Book

 This review also appears at the Indie House Books Website. You can check it out here : Murder on a Ghost Ship by Diane Rapp 

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