I’ve not read a huge number of paranormal mysteries but Lost in the Light embodies all that I’d want in one. A great read that is a worthy nominee for the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Paranormal/Mystery Suspense.
From the back cover:
The dead are waiting
One October morning in 1932, Vicente Sorolla entered the white house on the hill and was never seen again.
Now, Detective Dori Orihuela witnesses his brutal murder in her nightmares.
Drawn to this tough but tender woman, Vicente materializes out of the butler’s pantry and asks her to find his lost love, Anna. Dori wonders if she’s not only about to lose her badge, but also her sanity.
Dori has always been drawn to the mysterious Queen Anne Edwardian house in her hometown. But after a devastating injury that puts her career on the line, Dori isn’t sure if she made the right decision purchasing this rundown old mansion.
Her wisecracking Grammy Cena has waited too long for her independent granddaughter to return home. She hires a kooky psychic to banish the ghost and a handsome contractor with whom Dori has an unhappy past.
With a promise to Vicente, Dori may solve a forgotten Prohibition era murder. Or she may exhume secrets someone died to protect.
Dori is on leave from her job as a police officer, after being involved in a shooting, as she struggles to overcome her emotional trauma, she plans to focus her efforts on restoring her newly bought gothic style mansion. Seven pages in the eeriness begins when the ghost of Vicente makes his first appearance.
Vicente wants Dori to find out what happened to Anna, his true love. Told in the present day and flashbacks to the Prohibition during the 1920/30’s, Dori learns of Vicente’s untimely demise and attempts to find out what became of Anna.
Some of the books I have read previously have had paranormal elements, to read a book ridden with it was a pleasure. I enjoyed the eeriness, it wasn’t horror in the sense that it was scary, but in a way that made me want to read on and learn more about Vicente. Midway through the book, I began really looking forward to the lights switching off by themselves or the windows rattling as that meant the return of Vicente.
Castillo has created a great cast of characters. Dori, the main character, is so likeable, you immediately warm to her. But her Grammy Cena stole the show, she added lovely elements of humour throughout the book. I hope Castillo won’t mind if I share with you my favourite scene in which Grammy made me laugh out loud…
“Did you bring your cell phone?” Dori ordered, reaching for her off-duty weapon.
“Damn girl, what you packing?”
Grammy pointed to the Smith and Wesson M&P9 in Dori’s holster.
“You can’t have it.”
“That a .45?”
“9mm? Pssh! That’s for pussies.”
“Stay outside. I may need you to call 911.”
When Grammy didn’t answer, Dori turned to see her pulling a chrome-plated piece out of her purse. “Your Grammy don’t bring no damn cell phone to a fight.”
These injections of humour were so entertaining and very much appreciated.
This book is described as “a modern gothic mystery woven with suspense, ghosts and romance.” I’d replace the word ‘romance’ with the word ‘history’ as this book definitely contains some historical fiction. I’m not a fan of romance so trust me when I say the romance in this book is minimal, it’s the necessary amount for the storyline – there’s no great love/romance scenes. I do believe this book would appeal to readers of all genres (unless you’re not a fan of paranormal mysteries) – I highly recommend it.
I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, I was engaged and gripped throughout. Castillo has a lovely writing style and I look forward to more paranormal mysteries from her.
My only criticism is that some parts of this book were poorly edited, this took away from the story in certain parts as it disrupted the flow.
I also want to mention something about the book’s cover…. it’s gorgeous, I believe the correct term is ‘cover-love’ – I had so much fun taking pictures of this one for bookstagram!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK
About the Author:
Mary Castillo, Amazon Bestselling Author of Paranormal Mystery, lives in Orange County, California with her family and black pug name Rocky. More about Mary, her books and her podcast, can be found at: