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The Spectral City

The Spectral City by Leanna Renee Hieber Kensington Books Rebel Base Books Sci Fi & Fantasy Pub Date 27 Nov 2018


The Spectral City is an enticing blend of fantasy and mystery set against the backdrop of turn of the century New York. For those intrigued by the idea of spiritualism - seances, ghosts, mediums etc.., it is a perfect fit.

The New York City Police has an additional department headed by Eve Whitby. This group of young women are mediums who use their abilities and their spiritual contacts to obtain clues and help solve cases. Both their gender and their profession receive little respect, but they are successful and have a powerful patron in Roosevelt.

The novel is somewhat uneven. The prologue is suspenseful, but the first few chapters are correspondingly dull. The focus is primarily on the secondary mystery of a missing young girl, as opposed to the corrupt Prenze family (introduced in the prologue) and how and why they are trapping spirits (also discovered in prologue). I believe the purpose of The Spectral City is to prepare for future installments, with each one allowing discovery of more of the Prenze purpose. While the mystery aspect was lacking, the characters and their interactions were well done. It is easy to like Eve, her family and coworkers as well as see the chemistry developing between her and Detective Horowitz. But as handsome potential suitors abound, there may be some hiccups in future. I did think things resolved too easily at the end, but I’ll wait until the next novel to pass final judgement.

In all, it is an entertaining turn of the century mystery/fantasy that will appeal primarily to readers interested in spiritualism.

3 / 5 (4 / 5 readers interested in spiritualism)

I received a copy of The Spectral City from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.

— Crittermom


Solving crime isn’t only for the living. In turn-of-the century New York City, the police have an off-the-books spiritual go-to when it comes to solving puzzling corporeal crimes . . . Her name is Eve Whitby, gifted medium and spearhead of The Ghost Precinct. When most women are traveling in a gilded society that promises only well-appointed marriage, the confident nineteen-year-old Eve navigates a social circle that carries a different kind of chill. Working with the diligent but skeptical Lieutenant Horowitz, as well as a group of fellow psychics and wayward ghosts, Eve holds her own against detractors and threats to solve New York’s most disturbing crimes as only a medium of her ability can. But as accustomed as Eve is to ghastly crimes and all matters of the uncanny, even she is unsettled by her department’s latest mystery. Her ghostly conduits are starting to disappear one by one as though snatched away by some evil force determined to upset the balance between two realms, and most important—destroy the Ghost Precinct forever. Now Eve must brave the darkness to find the vanished souls. She has no choice. It’s her job to make sure no one is ever left for dead.

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