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Book Review: The Curse Of Jacob Tracy by Holly Messinger
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The Curse Of Jacob Tracy
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Holly Messinger
Thomas Dunne Books/ St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: December 1st, 2015

“I see dead people.”

Jacob Tracy does, that is. He doesn’t know why. He doesn’t know how. And he doesn’t like it one bit. He and his work partner (and BFF) Boz work where they can find it. Boz knows Trace is a weirdo, but they’ve been relying on each other for a while. Trace tries to suppress his powers, thinking it causes those around him pain or death. It is not until he meets Sabine Fairweather that he admits the full extent to his friend. He’s hopeful she can help him. Otherwise he’s stuck with The Curse Of Jacob Tracy, written by Holly Messinger.

Don’t think all they encounter are ghosts either. Everybody is invited to the party. A particularly riveting scene involves Chinese vampires, but I can’t give it away. Let’s just say they are a nasty lot.

What else can you expect from this fabulous novel?

Every new ghost, demon, vampire, etc., are delightfully horrible little surprises, packaged in clever prose, set in a western. Those are rare. Stephen King’s Dark Tower series has some elements of western, but also has modern and fantasy settings as well. This novel is quite real in its historical setting, which is awesome.

Holly Messinger’s freshman novel is exciting from the start. It is historical fiction with a supernaturally scary twist. You can’t help but feel for the reluctant hero, and his down-to-earth sidekick, who may not see all the things he does, but knows it’s all real. The spirits are intriguing characters unto themselves, as their motives are suspect, and the descriptions fascinating: “The black pits of her eye sockets seemed to look into the back of her skull.”

I’m looking very forward to more adventures from the cursed (or blessed?) Jacob Tracy.

The Curse Of Jacob Tracy Synopsis:

St. Louis in 1880 is full of ghosts — mangled soldiers, tortured slaves, the innocent victims of war — and Jacob Tracy can see them all. Ever since Antietam, when he lay delirious among the dead and dying, Trace has been haunted by the country’s restless spirits. The curse cost him his family, his calling to the church, and damn near his sanity. He stays out of ghost-populated cities as much as possible these days, guiding wagon trains West with his pragmatic and skeptical partner, Boz.

Then, just before the spring rush, Trace gets a letter from the wealthy and reclusive Sabine Fairweather. Sickly, sharp-tongued, and far too clever for her own good, Miss Fairweather needs a worthy man to retrieve a dead friend’s legacy from a nearby town — or so she says. When the errand proves far more sinister than advertised, Miss Fairweather admits to knowing about Trace’s curse, and suggests she might be able to help him — in exchange for a few more odd jobs.

Trace has no interest in being her pet psychic, but he’s been searching eighteen years for a way to curb his unruly curse, and Miss Fairweather’s knowledge of the spirit world is too tempting to ignore. As she steers him into one macabre situation after another, his powers flourish, and Trace begins to realize some good might be done with this curse of his. But Miss Fairweather is harboring some dark secrets of her own, and her meddling has brought Trace to the attention of something much older and more dangerous than any ghost.

Rich in historical detail and emotional depth, The Curse of Jacob Tracy is a fast-paced and inventive debut, an intriguing introduction to a bold new hero.

The Curse Of Jacob Tracy Cover

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