2008: #76 – The Dead Room (Heather Graham)

26688855 Book #76 was The Dead Room by Heather Graham. The back of the book reads:

A year ago, archaeologist Leslie MacIntyre barely survived an explosion that took the life of her fiancé, Matt Connolly. Since then she’s slowly come to terms with both her loss and an unsettling ability to communicate with ghosts, a “gift” received in the wake of her brush with death.

Now she’s returned to lower Manhattan, site of the explosion, to investigate a newly discovered burial ground. In this place restless spirits hold the secrets not only of past injustice but of a deadly conspiracy against the city’s women—including Leslie herself.

By night Matt visits her in dreams, warning her and offering clues to the truth. By day she finds herself helped by—and attracted to—his flesh-and-blood cousin Joe. Torn by her feelings for both men, caught between the worlds of the living and the dead, Leslie struggles against the encroaching danger. As she is drawn closer to the darkness, she must ultimately face the power of an evil mind, alone in a place where not even the men she loves can save her.

I have sort of mixed feelings about this book.  It started out shaky for me — the first time Leslie sat in a room and had a conversation with a ghost, I couldn’t stop myself from rolling my eyes — but eventually it grew on me.  Since I have no problem reading books with vampires and werewolves and witches, it’s a little strange to me that I would have that reaction about ghosts, but I think it’s because those other types of characters can interact with everyone, and not just select people.  Regardless, I did find myself pulled into this story and wondering just who was trying to kill Leslie, what happened to Genevieve and the other girls, and who was the real target, Matt or Leslie?  I liked Joe a lot, even if his morals were a little over the top.  Most of all, I have to give Graham some props for a completely unexpected and unconventional ending — I wouldn’t have expected it in a million years.  That’s nice.

Page count: 384 | Approximate word count: 96,000

2007: Body Rides (Richard Laymon)
2006: Dragonfly in Amber (Diana Gabaldon)
2005: We Need To Talk About Kevin (Lionel Shriver)

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