Thriller: Mean Spirit, by Will Kingdom

Mean SpiritToxic spirits

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Persephone Callard is a world reknowned psychic medium, but her skills did not warn her to avoid becoming entangled with sadistic criminal Gary Seward. Now she’s in hiding, and is being haunted herself by the evil manifestation of Seward’s most vicious “enforcer”, who himself was brutally murdered. The desperate Persephone contacts her old mentor, but since he’s down with the flu, he sends his assistant, journalist Grayle Underhill, to help. No sooner does  Grayle set out, than the nightmare begins.

Will Kingdom is a pen name of the author better known, mainly in the U.K., as Phil Rickman. Rickman deserves a much wider American readership, because he sure knows how to write captivating, credible, paranormal novels. His Merrilee Watkins series, about a female Anglican priest who’s trained in exorcism, is set along the evocative England/Wales border, as is Mean Spirit. It’s difficult to decide whether Rickman’s/Kingdom’s strength lies in plotting or characterization, as both of those factors are always so strong. A cross-dressing TV celeb, a young cop who recently died and came back again, the publisher of a new age magazine, and an American writer can hardly be expected to meld into a crime busting team, but that’s exactly what they do, by hook or by crook. The suspense ratchets up, chapter by chapter, and the final scenes in a Victorian castle’s creepy cellars are positively riveting. If you’re looking for quality paranormal/crime novels, you can’t do better.

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