There was a thud of an outside door opening and Kelly immediately decided to play possum as she quickly got back into her original position and closed her eyes. If nothing else, she may be able to fool them into thinking she was still unconscious and catch them in an unguarded conversation. As she heard the inner door open she tried to slow down her breathing and hoped they didn’t hear her heart pounding out of her chest.
“Speak to me in English demon and yes I know this will work. Go away, Seducer! The desert is your home. The serpent is your dwelling. Be humiliated and cast down, for even though you have deceived men, you cannot make a mockery of God. He has prepared Hell for you and your angels.”
Dr. Marie Bartek and her fiancé, Police Chief Cory Miller, have finally tied the knot. Their wedding festivities are interrupted, however, by the discovery of a headless corpse.
While criminal investigations are Cory’s milieu, Marie and her team of psychic researchers have been instrumental in solving mysteries in the past, and she has already received visions that seem to pertain to the mystery at hand. After suffering a fatal heart attack, her mentor and friend Myra has continued her mentorship from the other side, and Marie takes comfort in her presence and guidance.
Once again, Marie uses her psychic ability to lead the police in the right direction. Are there pirates amiss killing those who betray them by decapitation? And is Captain Kidd’s treasure really buried on Sullivan’s Island?
Excerpt Page 1
The ocean waves pounded out a rhythm that soothed your soul as its spray danced in the air with the seagulls. Crystal-like sands glistened in the sun as the sea slowly melted away the shore. With each ripple of water the sand eroded away the remains of the coffins revealing headless skeletons facing west. Tiny sand crabs scurried in and out of the chest cavities and nibbled on century old plankton and bacteria. The smell of decay mixed with salt gave out a sulfur-like odor even too putrid for the beach animals to ignore, while the sound of a sword sliced through the air. . .
Excerpt Page 30
He stopped his wagon at the edge of the smelly green dumpster and dragged a concrete block that was lying on the other side of the lot to the edge of the bin. He stepped up on the block and shoved the lid up on the top and winced at the pungent stench emanating from inside. He carefully gripped the first plastic bag and heaved it inside and grabbed the frame to keep from losing his balance. As he bent down to grab the next bag he noticed his hands were covered in a red sticky substance.
He wiped them off on the bag, but his curiosity got the best of him as he placed both hands on the frame of the dumpster and slowly pulled himself up to look inside. There staring back at him were maggot filled eye sockets and what appeared to be the remains of a head.
Secret of Coffin Island
Book 4 opens on a eerie vision and then gives way to Marie and Cory’s wedding day. It seems like business as usual for the intrepid SIPS team. Once again the team is facing a serial killer on their island and it should have been loads of fun. Once again though I am confused as to the role of the SIPS in team in the arc of the story. Much like in book three the main story centers around other characters, not the team or even Marie, who is ostensibly the main character. Rather this story is about a young psychic named Isabelle. Though she fits in quite nicely with the team as she learns to use her talents, I see the great potential for a middle grade or YA series of books spun off with her character and the other girls, maybe a cyber group. Would a cyber seance be effective? The team seems relegated to a support role in this book, not even being involved in the solving of the mystery as this is done by the girls, away from the action. Another concern I have is that the psychic dialogue is becoming cliche. This series started with an average working woman who has a gift that she was exploring and sharing. Paranormal terminology was used only when necessary and explained when needed, that was refreshing. This latest installment reads like an episode of New Jersey Medium or any number of similarly exploitive shows and for me it just changes the whole feel of the story.
It was nice to get Sullivan Island and the surrounding areas a bit more fleshed out and the slice of beach living described in the story makes for a beautiful setting. The invocation of Edgar Allen Poe, the father of the modern suspense thriller, was a nice touch and made me want to re-read The Gold Bug, as I haven’t since my high school detective fiction class. Over-all this was a nice afternoon read.
A True SIPS fan will enjoy this book, I would dearly love to see some other stories from this author, she has some terrific ideas.
Robin Murphy, of Sharpsburg, Maryland, serves as the Administrative Associate assisting with student admissions, registration, financial aid, and business processes for the Masters programs in the Graduate Studies and Continuing Education departments at Shepherd University.
Robin attended Penn Highlands Community College and is a graduate of Long Ridge Writers Group. She was inducted as a member of Phi Theta Kappa Society, an International Scholastic Order of the Two-Year College in 1997, was nominated to The National Dean’s List in 1998, and received the honor of “New Executives 2000” by the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber of Commerce.
Robin is an Amazon best-selling author and a paranormal mystery and travel writer. She is a speaker on author platforms, self-publishing, and marketing, and recently became the sole-proprietor of Rookie Writers Solutions. Robin has over thirty year’s experience in the administrative, graphic design, desktop publishing, writing, and self-publishing fields.
* Disclaimer: I received copies of all four of these books
in exchange for an honest review