Three Paws Up for ‘The Other Side of Midnight’

Simone St. James and Wendy Webb are my go-tos when I’m in the mood for a ghostly, atmospheric mystery. This was an instant impulse buy when I saw this cover illustration of a woman in 1920s garb amidst the backdrop of a spooky train station. How could I resist a story about a psychic crime-solver tracking down a killer in WWI London? There’s a killer on the loose targeting psychics, and it’s up to Ellie (a psychic finder of lost things), to solve the mystery before she joins her friends (or frienemies, I should say) behind the veil of the Great Beyond. The storyline is intriguing, but yet I found the suspense to be lacking. I can’t put my finger on why, perhaps I needed more ghosts and less dialogue, or maybe I just wasn’t really feeling the characters. Either way, it was kind of a chore plodding through this thing. Here’s my assessment:

What I liked: As always, the author did a fabulous job delivering a spooky, gothic atmospheric story that immersed me into WWI London. Her descriptions of the foggy streets, sprawling countrysides and dark alleys really transported me to another time and place. I wish Hollywood would cool it with all the Marvel movies and start turning these books into blockbuster films!

What was missing: Oh, I don’t know…maybe some scary ghosts!!! Even though this book is centered around a psychic, she refuses to speak to the dead, which doesn’t make any sense because they can can give her all the answers she needs. Ugh! We do get some ghost action toward the end, but it’s too little too late.

What irked me: The big reveal was a letdown. I feel like I wasn’t give enough clues, and it all kind of morphed into a confusing mess.

Favorite character: I listened to this on Audible, so I’m not sure if I’m spelling his name correctly, but Pickwick, the rescued dog, stole the show! I was kind of “meh” about the main character until she took him in. The characters are all so very haunted and serious, so I appreciated the fun and fluff Pickwick provided.

Overall: This is certainly not Simone St. James’s best book, but I’ll go ahead and give it 3 stars just for the spooky atmosphere alone.

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