Usually I love Ghost Hunt and while I liked this one there was something very off balanced about this one. For one, it took over a year to come out and in that time the stores stopped carrying the line (aggravating how they’re handling sales any more) in the store so I hadn’t even realized it came out.
The crew had gone to pick up Naru from the hospital where he’d been for weeks after their last adventure nearly killed him. On the way home (in two cars), Monk gets distracted and goes down a wrong road. Lin ends up following him. Oddly, it leads to a place that has a strange affect on Naru. He wants to stay at this rundown lakeside resort, saying he had been looking for this place.
Not only has he been looking for this place, it’s the reason he developed SPR in the first place. He tells Mai to look for work when they get home because he’s closing up shop. Needless to say everyone is stunned. They’ve become a little family and no one is ready to let go of that. Finally, they get it out of Naru that he’s here to find his brother and to that end, Lin arranges to have the lake dragged.
Now this is where it bogs down. We have Naru keeping secrets with the men in the group, which is was a little annoying but could be leading somewhere. While the weather prevents the search for a body, the mayor tells the team about a school that was abandoned due to low enrollment. They would like to tear it down and build a lakeside resort but fears it’s haunted. Would the team take a look?
Naturally they say yes and we’re still good up until this point but then for a good chunk of the middle of this volume we have the team explaining the types of ghosts and Western vs Eastern spirits and how they differ. We’re 10 volumes into this series. It seemed a little late for this and it was such a huge expository hunk. Also Naru disparages their own abilities, saying they’ve really never accomplished much in the banishing since they have no real proof ghosts ever existed, hitting particularly hard both Monk-san and John. He did have one good point, something I’ve said from the beginning. John is too young to be an exorcist. At his age he wouldn’t even be out of seminary yet. And to do exorcisms without the permission of the Catholic Church is a no-no. Still, not much comes of this other than the feeling that they just slammed their own series. Also Monk can no longer see spirits (and that felt like a very contrived plot device).
Half the group ends up at the school to investigate while the other half go into town to scout rumors about the school. Here the story picks back up again. The school is a trap and some of them go missing. It took a year to get this. I hope it’s not another year to get to the next one.