Sunday, April 25, 2010

Review: Dead and Kicking by Wendy Roberts

Dead and Kicking (Book 3, Ghost Dusters Series)
by Wendy Roberts
2009 Obsidian
Trade Paperack; 280 Pages
Genre: Mystery/Paranormal
Source: Local Library

4 / 5 Stars

Summary (Press Release)
Sadie's going through a rough time.  When her dad passes away, she's left to juggle her widowed mother, her lying boyfriend, Zack, her struggling business - and the fact that her father's spirit is reluctant to move on.  Now, on top of all that, Zack's former flame hires Sadie to dig out the home of her hoarder mother... and that's when things get messy.

Sadie finds some unexpected things in the cluttered house - including the seventeen-year-old mummified remains of an infant, along with a very angry ghost who seems determined to keep Sadie away.  Then, aided by a team of her fellow psychics, she unearths something even more terrifying: a host of secrets that someone will kill to keep buried.

My Thoughts
What I love about this series, is its originality.  Sadie cleans up crime scenes for a living and has to deal with all of the stigma that that entails, from her mother, from her friends, and from other people she meets.  The situations that Sadie finds herself in, are usually a result of the crime scenes, and what she discovers at those crime scenes.  To be honest, until I read these books, I don't think I really gave it a thought as to what happens after the crimes are committed and the body/bodies are removed.  This series gives the reader a look into what happens after a death occurs and how a place is cleaned up and restored.  It's a rather chilling thought to have to use a company such as the one Sadie owns.

Sadie is an interesting and intriguing character.  I do have to admit however, that she was presented in this book very differently than in the first two books.  She was much moodier, more angry, often crying over every little thing that happened; yes, I understood that her boyfriend Zack was having issues, that her dad had just passed away, and she was not getting along with her mom as well as she could, but I still felt somewhat irritated at times by all this behaviour.  I felt the old Sadie had more spunk and was much more lively.  And Zack, I normally love his character, but he was very different from the Zack I adored in the first two books.  He has an issue with vicodin and I'm glad the author is showing that drug addictions are dangerous and can reoccur if one is not careful (and Sadie had to do the tough love thing), but I was hoping it wouldn't get too serious and especially, I do not want to see Zack get written out of the series.  I don't want to reveal any spoilers here, but with the addition of another possible love interest, I was a little worried that Zack might not stay in the picture.

One of the things I love about these books is the amaterish sleuth feeling as Sadie goes around, in her sometimes bumbling way, sleuthing to discover who did the crime.  How does she discover some of the deaths are crimes?  She's a psychic too, and the ghosts make this series a lot of fun, and also create a lot of problems for Sadie.  She's been seen talking to herself on many an occasion and now rumours are flying that she is either psychic or ready for a lunatic assylum.  Throw in her best friend Maeve, another psychic, and things can get pretty interesting.  I enjoy these parts a lot and the complications they get themselves into are a lot of fun.

While this book was darker than the other two, with many subplots and twists that are separate from the main mystery, it was still an enjoyable and fun read.  It focused more on Sadie's relationship issues with Zack and her mom, and less on the business of cleaning up crime scenes.  Despite all that, the mystery is cleverly disguised amongst all of Sadie's emotional issues and the plot twists and turns until the very last page.  Ms. Roberts is currently writing the next book in this series.  It will be interesting to see what happens to Sadie next.


  1. I added her to my TBR list! It sounds like it is a fantastically fun read :)