My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved this paranormal mystery and to be frank, that's the right genre for it (in case anyone was looking for a romance which is more usual for this publisher). Lieutenant Hart (first name a mystery not to be solved) is called back to Brightly, his home town, after the passing of his father, a professor. They've been estranged because Hart believes his father didn't approve of him becoming a detective.
Once there, he's presented with a mystery much like the one he had been investigating back home, a strange series of deaths with a mark left on the body (some real some faked), some deaths seem natural and others are obviously murder. He's met by Freddie, a local detective (who faces some resentment on the force because she's both female and of African descent). While he's supposed to be putting his father's affairs in order, Hart can't help but get involved.
And someone is ready to keep him from doing just that. He's nearly killed in a car bombing which brings him into close proximity of Dr. Tobias Darwin whom he met when he and Freddie look in on one victim who is still alive but in a coma. Hart is in more of a tailspin than he cares to admit because he soon finds himself doing things with Toby that he knows he shouldn't as the doctor could, in fact, be a suspect.
Worse, the killer could be the local cryptid, the Predator of Shadow Mountain. While neither Hart nor Freddie are ready to jump right on the Predator band wagon, they can't deny the unusual, almost supernatural aspects of the case. For instance, all the victims had some fatal illness but were cured miraculously sometime before they were killed.
To further complicate things, Hart is being pursued by Isaac, his young neighbor who is back home, watching Hart's fish. Isaac grew up next door to Hart but he's no longer a boy. He's in his twenties, though still probably a decade younger than Hart. Naturally he doesn't listen to Hart and does come to the funeral. What Isaac doesn't know is that Hart's father had a connection to the Predator. However someone does know about this connection and things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
I'll wrap the review up because I don't want to ruin any of the surprises. The writing is very good. The mystery, both the traditional and supernatural aspects of it were both well done. In spite of how deeply flawed Hart is, he is a compelling character. I loved Freddie. Isaac and Toby were interesting too. I'm looking forward to the next one in the series.
In a minor spoiler or two (that's your warning), I will say if you don't like multiple partners this might not be your cup of tea. Also while it wasn't stated outright anywhere, it's pretty obvious that Isaac is dying of something (though Hart is oblivious to it).
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