By Shelley Russell Nolan
For twenty-five year old Tyler Morgan, being murdered was easy. Easy in comparison with working for the Grim Reaper.
Jonathon Grimm may have brought her back from the dead in exchange for working as a reaper for her hometown, Easton, but she has to find his lost reaper before she can enjoy her second chance at life.
Only … the lost reaper isn’t actually lost. He has a new body and a new life and no intention of turning himself in, even if it means giving Tyler her life back.
Tyler begins the grisly task of reaping the souls of Easton’s dead while searching for the reaper. He could be anyone – the intriguing detective, Sam Lockwood; the handsome, wealthy Chris Bradbury; or the serial killer stalking the women of Easton. Women who bear an uncanny resemblance to Tyler.
But what is the ancient secret, hidden from mankind, that has motivated Grimm to choose Tyler for the morbid task?
As the killer closes in and Grimm’s deadline draws closer, Tyler discovers she is fighting a much bigger threat than the Grim Reaper and time is running out for everyone
Twenty five year old Tyler Morgan is given a second chance at life when she meets the grim reaper moments after being murdered. In exchange for her second chance Tyler is charged with looking for a missing reaper alongside collecting two thousand souls.
Tyler faces a problem when looking for the missing reaper: who is he and what does he look like? Is it the intriguing detective Sam Lockwood, the slick Chris Bradbury, or the serial killer stalking women of Easton who look curiously similar to Tyler?
Can Tyler find him before her deadline or will she miss her deadline and be forced to die again?
I want to be clear that I did think this book was on the whole a suspenseful and enjoyable read but the reason it only gets three stars is that I guessed the identity of the killer around 2/3 of the way through the book. Also, when I realised there would be a sequel I had no desire to read it despite finding this book moderately enjoyable.
Suspense built quickly in the book with both of these sentences occurring within the first few pages:
he swung me round until I stood face to face with him. Then he shoved a very large knife in my stomach and
I put a hand on my chest. My heart beat faster and faster. It should have reassured me, but I couldn’t ignore the evidence of my own eyes. I was dead.
The reader’s first introduction to the Grim Reaper, otherwise known as Jonathan Grimm, makes him seem moderately ordinary.
A man shrouded in mist appeared out of the darkness, the light from the service station created shadows that cloaked his features as he glided towards me. However, when Tyler calls him out on his appearance we learn it is not that simple:
“I couldn’t stop screaming and if the mist hadn’t ensnared me, holding me upright, I would have dropped to my knees and cowered before this terrible figure.
Abnormally tall…he loomed over me, his cloak billowing around him revealing the skeletal frame hidden within the voluminous cloth. One hand held his scythe, the other stretched towards me bringing a cold so intense it burnt my nose.”
Tyler learns that reapers act as a conduit between life and death, drawing the soul out of the body in order for it to be reborn again.
Tyler’s family are distinctly unlikeable but despite being a jackass there was nothing that convinced me that Connor was the killer, in fact it seemed a little too easy. Tyler’s dad and brother Connor both come across as misogynistic pigs and her stepmother Rhonda as generally unlikeable. Tyler’s only comfort within the family unit seems to come from her half-brother Andrew.
Her relationship with her ‘best friend’ Sarah was a constant irritant to me and I found the description of her as a “sister of my heart” as incredibly corny.
Ultimately I found this book disappointing.
Our Final Rating...
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