Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review: Dying to Know (A Gumshoe Ghost Mystery, #1) by TJ O'Connor

Tuck never knew death was so overrated . . .until he dies.


Book Information:

Dying to Know
A Gumshoe Ghost Mystery #1
by TJ O'Connor

Publisher: Midnight Ink

Genres: Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date: Jan 8, 2014


About Dying to Know:

Dying is overrated. Murder is not.

Detective Oliver Tucker prefers to be the guy investigating shootings, not the guy getting shot. So when he returns as a ghost after being murdered in his home, it's only natural for Tuck to investigate the most important case of his life--his own. Detective, solve thyself!

Piecing together cold cases, foggy memories, and eerie premonitions, Tuck fears that if he doesn't figure out who pulled the trigger, his wife may be the next victim. Surprised to discover many earth-bound spirits chasing the same killer, Tuck's unique perspective from the other side leads him to a chilling conclusion--it's the living, not the dead, who are most terrifying.
(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18126467-dying-to-know)

My Review:

When Oliver "Tuck" Tucker is gunned down in his own home, he returns in a less-solid, more-corporeal form.  Thinking he has unfinished business in the land of the living, since that's why most ghosts don't move on, Tuck is surprised to learn that may not be the case.  Tasked with helping his widow, Angel, and former partner, Bear, solve his murder proves somewhat difficult as he navigates his way through the spirit plane while trying to help those on the physical one.  Especially when he suspects everyone and realizes that it is possible for a ghost to be jealous.

Secrets between Angel and Bear drive him to distraction.  Bear's sneaky actions lead Tuck to believe his partner may have additional secrets, especially when he sees Bear meeting with less than upstanding citizens.  As the investigation moves forward, Tuck's sudden shifts from the present to the past or the present to the impending future, at the touch of an object, have him realizing that his murder isn't a simple case of home invasion.  When Tuck discovers the reasons behind all of the chaos may stem from the archaeological dig site his widow is part of, he fears that she may be in danger.  Tuck's shooter may not have been after him at all.  This is cemented when other spirits come to him with information that connects his murder to the past, present, and future murders of others.

In the land of the living, how can the ghost of a former detective break the case of his own murder wide open?  And will anyone he can help be willing to believe?

I received a copy of Dying to Know through NetGalley last year and, like so many other books I have, it got buried on my Kindle.  When Great Escapes Book Tours announced the tour for Book 2 in the series, Dying for the Past, I recognized the look of the cover and found Tj on Goodreads to see what Book 1 was.  Sure enough, I had it on my Kindle to read.  What a great way to kick me into reading not only Book 1 but Book 2, as well.  I really regret not reading it before now.

Dying to Know is a great mystery filled with twists, turns, and suspense.  I love the idea behind a detective who is murdered and comes back to solve his own case.  Tuck takes his reintroduction to the world pretty well considering he's part of a world that shouldn't be able to hear or see him.  After he begins to figure out what he can and can't do, Tuck is able to communicate with Angel, and then the investigation really gets rolling.  With his abilities to investigate and snoop undetected, he and Angel are able to start getting to the bottom of what is going on, and neither can believe what they discover.  I was able to suspect early on who was responsible for the chaos in Dying to Know, but that knowledge didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.  After all, just because I thought I knew who it was doesn't mean that I knew why or how everything related and intertwined.

Tuck is written with humor and wit.  Some of the lines that come out of his mouth, or his antics, give the story a less tragic feel, yet it doesn't detract or make the story unbelievable.  Angel is a grieving widow but the author doesn't dwell or overdo the emotions.  She is a strong woman and is written as such.  Bear is the partner that every cop should aspire to have.  His partner is killed, he feels guilty, and does anything and everything he can to find the murderer.  These three characters are written with excellence and depth.

The plot flows along nicely and is very smooth.  The events unfold rather quickly and they envelope the reader.  I was pulled in from the very beginning of the book.  I was entertained throughout and the author's writing kept me engaged, not wanting to put the book down.

Very enjoyable read!!

My Rating:



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