Ghosts and New Orleans go together like crawfish and gumbo, as Harper (The Worst Day of My Life, So Far
) demonstrates in this delectable spooker spiced with romance, surprises and authentic local color. Chef Phil Randazzo is settling comfortably into his marriage to Michelle Wickham when inexplicable events begin to upset the household. Michelle concludes that the mischief is the work of her first husband, Cajun musician Adrien Paul Savoie, killed in a car accident three years before. A visit to a psychic confirms that Adrien's ghost is trying to tell Michelle he's "not going to let her be hurt again." As Phil and Michelle parse the meaning of that cryptic warning, they realize that each is haunted by ghosts of the past that must be brought into the open and exorcised if they're to continue as a couple. This emotional tale could easily have collapsed into the bathos of a routine paranormal romance, but Harper shows confident control of its elements, regularly jolting the reader with creepy reminders that there's a supernatural mystery to be solved. Some transparently symbolic dreams slow the story in places, but the clues all come together in a magnificently orchestrated finale that shows it's possible for a ghost story to be smart as well as scary.
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