City of Masks by Daniel Hecht

 

Paranormal MysteryParanormal Romance

City of Masks City of MasksDaniel Hecht; Bloomsbury USA 2004WorldCatCree Black is a parapsychologist – a ghost hunter. She can communicate with ghosts. She and her partner Edgar have an agency in Seattle to help find ghosts for people. Cree takes a commission to help a woman in New Orleans. She knows this case will be hard. She is sensitive to spirits and knows that New Orleans has more than most places.

Lila Warren, nee Beauforte, comes from one of New Orleans’ old, rich families. She wants to move back into the old Beauforte mansion with her husband now that their children and grown and moved out. But when she’s in the mansion, she is frightened by some sort of specter that looks like a human with a boar’s head. She says it attacks her. The family wants to help her. They hire Cree to get rid of the ghost.

It’s not that simple. Cree is a serious psychologist despite her unusual approach. Cree knows to get rid of the ghosts she has to discover why they are there. No one else believes there are spirits in the Beauforte mansion. Lila’s psychiatrist is very sceptical. When Paul Fitzpatrick grills Cree, he comes to believe she has Lila’s best interests at heart. The two start working together even though he doesn’t believe in her parapsychological abilities.

Daniel Hecht’s City of Masks is a new twist for a mystery. This isn’t a fantasy full of ghosts. It a good tale with a paranormal twist. (Think on par with Preston and Child’s novels with their paranormal twists such as Cemetery Dance.) These spirits are believable because of the way Hecht has presented them.. The spiritual world is made believable in how it can perceived in different frequencies.

City of Masks starts slow, but keep with it. The action picks up about half way through and the twists in the mystery from the past keep the reader guessing. This is more of a psychological mystery although it gets to a time when people’s lives are in danger. This is New Orleans’ aristocracy – there are old family secrets. Lila’s mother is withdrawn and cold. Her brother is a dissipated playboy. Yet Lila is important to them. Her husband also doesn’t believe her ghosts, yet wants her to recover from whatever is sending her in a downhill psychological spiral. The main characters of City of Masks are revealed through the layers of their personalities.

This is the first novel in a series featuring Cree Black and her partner. I’ll have to add this to my list of series to continue reading.

Notice: Suggestive dialogue or situations

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