Series: Tradd Street #2
Genres: Paranormal Mystery
Published by Penguin on 3 November 2009
Reading Challenges: 2013 Bachelorette Challenge
Melanie has just got used to her Tradd Street house and her psychic powers but the arrival of her mother Ginnette after thirty-five years throws her into a tailspin. An evil spirit has emerged in Ginnette’s house and is quickly gaining strength. Melanie has to figure out what has upset the spirit and how to get rid of it.
Melanie unfortunately is still quite immature when it comes to relationships. She clings onto old hurts for far too long and resents her mother’s intrusion into her ordered, sterile life. I can understand that her mother’s ‘I needed to leave you in order to protect you’ was troubling but by the age of forty, I’d expect Melanie to have found a way to address these issues. She was after all able to forgive her alcoholic father during the course of the last novel. The romance between Melanie and Jack hit a number of potholes as Jack got tired of Melanie holding him at arm’s length. I can’t say that I blame him for wanting to be with someone who enjoys his company but the resulting interactions between him and Melanie were really awkward. The almost kisses are incredibly annoying, as is the characters pointing out to each other they almost kissed and counting the number of times it almost happened. I wouldn’t mind this if the book was about teenagers but these people are in their forties. A little emotional intelligence would have gone a long way.
Like the previous novel, the main mystery wasn’t that hard to solve. White repeats information about clues several times to ensure all of her readers can follow along. I didn’t need that many reminders and at times I found the hand-holding frustrating. I did enjoy however the creepier tone and the insight into the ghosts’ past lives. Melanie’s soldier stood out for me and although his tale was fairly tragic, he continued to serve and protect. A number of phrases and actions are repeated ad nauseum e.g. throwing away glasses so you don’t look old and then needing to squint to read, elegant shrugs, raising eyebrows etc. The end of the novel clearly set things up for the next in the series.
The mystery isn’t that bad even though it comes with neon signs pointing out the important bits and I genuinely enjoyed the ghost side of things. I am finding it harder and harder though to engage with the series because Melanie is just so unpleasant and juvenile.