REVIEW: A Sanctuary of Spirits

A Sanctuary of SpiritsTitleA Sanctuary of Spirits

Author: Leanna Renee Hieber

Genre: Fantasy/Mystery/Paranormal

SeriesThe Spectral City #2

Blurb: New York, 1899, and the police department’s best ally is the secret Ghost Precinct, where spirits and psychics help solve the city’s most perplexing crimes . . .

There’s more than one way to catch a killer—though the methods employed by the NYPD’s Ghost Precinct, an all-female team of psychics and spiritualists led by gifted young medium Eve Whitby, are unconventional to say the least. Eve is concerned by the backlash that threatens the department—and by the discovery of an otherworldly realm, the Ghost Sanctuary, where the dead can provide answers. But is there a price to be paid for Eve and her colleagues venturing beyond the land of the living?

Searching for clues about a mortician’s disappearance, Eve encounters a charismatic magician and mesmerist whose abilities are unlike any she’s seen. Is he a link to mysterious deaths around the city, or to the Ghost Sanctuary? Torn between the bonds of her team and her growing relationship with the dashing Detective Horowitz, Eve must discern truth from illusion and friend from foe, before another soul vanishes into the ether . . .

Review: I have enjoyed reading this series so much! And I don’t say that because it’s over – I don’t think it is, actually. Or at least, it better not be! There isn’t a third book listed on GoodReads yet, but I really hope there will be one at some point. I have questions!

I never got around to writing my review for book 1, The Spectral City, because I finished that one right before my blog hiatus, but I gave that book 5 stars on GoodReads. A lot of my comments for that book also apply to this one. The writing is just so good. I love how Hieber has built this story world, which is familiar while still being mysterious and new. Half the time, these books read as pure historical fiction, but then ghosts show up and help solve crimes. How cool is that! The characters are wonderful to read, starting with our protagonist, Eve. Eve has been aware and able to speak to ghosts all her life. She has used this ability to find others like her and is now a part of the New York Police. What I like best about Eve is that she is such a hard working person and extremely empathetic. She wants to help everyone she can, living or dead, and this trait sometimes gets her in trouble.

In the first book, the stakes were pretty high (trying to find out how one of their best ghost friends had disappeared), the second book takes it to a whole new level. It is actually terrifying and kept me guessing who the actual villain really was. The creepy mortician with the collection of dead people photographs? The tonic salesman whose customers keep having ill effects? The magician whose show is so spooky and evocative of hell, it feels like you actually travel there? And who the hell is the scary, shadowy guy who keeps appearing outside Eve’s window!!!

I do think one of my favorite parts of these books has been watching the relationship develop between Eve and Detective Horowitz. This isn’t a romance novel, but their relationship is building in such a beautiful, organic way. They are so compatible, so respectful of one another and each other’s work. It’s a joy to read every time he turns up.

I want a book 3 so bad! Hopefully we’ll find out if there is one soon because I can’t wait to disappear into this world again!

GoodReads rating: 5 stars!!

Categories: Books I've Read

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