Abigail Rook and R.F. Jackaby are on the supernatural case once again, and this third turn brings back some of the past. It seems as if the two of them have 9 lives, especially so in this book. Ms. Rook and resident ghost Jenny Cavanagh have been attempting possession behind Jackaby’s back. A new murder that is eerily similar to the way Jenny herself died, makes them anxious to solve that cold case, before there are any more warm ones. William Ritter‘s Ghostly Echoes: A Jackaby Novel is the strongest one yet.
Darker than the first two (and the best thus far), we find our detective duo encountering stranger creatures that push into even more mythology and other realms. Last time it was Stymphalian birds. This time it is Charon, the ferryman. Through it all, we are gifted with the interaction of these BFFs.
Jackaby’s mysterious past is explored a bit by Ms. Rook herself, as there is a part she just cannot reach. I’m looking forward to that reveal in future novels. The ghost of Jenny is just a delight, going through her own evolution. The circumstances surrounding her death, and her ghostly journey are satisfying for fans of this series. As her memories return and her strength deepens, it seems a coming of age journey for this ghost, not really seen often in novels. Ms. Rook also grows both in bravery and independence, if you can believe that, being such a brave woman already.
What is always enjoyable about the Jackaby novels are the uniqueness of the characters. Although not in the same genre at all, Rook and to some extent Jackaby, remind me the highly popular Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich – quirky and brave, getting into unbelievable situations, where even the evil people can be witty and complex.
There is definite setup for the 4th novel, and if the excellence of this one is any indication, we are in for a treat.
“Tread lightly, Miss Rook,” warned Mr. Jackaby. “It would not do to push Miss Cavanaugh too far or too fast.”
Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.
Ghostly Echoes, the third installment in the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series, features its much-loved quirky, courageous characters and sly humor in the scariest and most exciting volume yet.