When Sergeant Hallie Michaels comes back to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her.
The sheriff says that Dell's death was suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it. Something happened or Dell's ghost wouldn't still be hanging around. Friends and family, mourning Dell's loss, think Hallie's letting her grief interfere with her judgment.
The one person who seems willing to listen is the deputy sheriff, Boyd Davies, who shows up everywhere and helps when he doesn't have to.
As Hallie asks more questions, she attracts new ghosts, women who disappeared without a trace. Soon, someone's trying to beat her up, burn down her father's ranch, and stop her investigation.
Hallie's going to need Boyd, her friends, and all the ghosts she can find to defeat an enemy who has an unimaginable ancient power at his command.
Interesting debut featuring a hardened, emotionally withdrawn protagonist who can see ghosts as a result of temporarily dying.
This story is a paranormal mystery and is less action filled than the stories that I am accustomed to. As a result, it seemed to move a little more slowly than I would have liked, but I enjoyed the characters that we are introduced to and the small town setting in which the story occurs.
Hallie comes back to her home town in Taylor County, taking leave from her tour in Afghanistan, to attend the funeral of her sister, Dell.
The circulating rumor is that Dell's car crash was an intentional suicide attempt, a theory that Hallie refuses to believe.
Hallie is determined to learn the truth, and as events unravel, we realize that the small town is hiding big secrets. And the closer that Hallie gets to finding answers, the more dangerous her search becomes.
Overall, this was a pleasant change of pace for me. While it hasn't made its way to my list of favorites, I will definitely be watching for the release date of the sequel and any future stories by Deborah Coates.