Yay, it's Book Review Friday! Today, I have a very fun supernatural mystery novel for you all. It's Grave Beginnings, By R.R. Virdi, the first in the Grave Report series.
Full disclosure, I love supernatural detective novels, but I have a hard time finding ones that are actually intelligent books. A lot pander to the reader (like most, if not all, paperback romances), and have no true essence. They start to blend together, becoming boring, repetitive, copies of one another.
Not so for Grave Beginnings. Right from the the beginning, the reader is dragged into the story and clings on tight for the thrill ride. It's almost impossible to put down - as a matter of fact, I read almost the entire book in one sitting.
The story centers around a soul who wakes up in the body of a dead man. This soul, Vincent Graves, is somehow caught between this world and the next, and to move on, must solve supernatural murders by inhabiting the recently deceased. The man he is now walking around as - Norman - recently came about an extreme bout of luck, which left him looking younger, thinner, and with a lot more money in his pocket. But it didn't last long, because something put him in the ground quite soon after. Our hero has thirteen hours to solve his murder, before he must move on again.
Cool concept, amiright?
Virdi masterfully plays with the myths of the supernatural, introducing us to a whole new host of characters, drawn from the most unlikely of folklore. It's always great to see a fresh take on the supernatural: too often these days authors limit themselves to taking old myths and making them sexy for a general audience. You won't find that here - so sexy vampires or werewolves, thankfully! Instead, some intriguing myths that i don't want to spoil for anyone.
While the plot is compelling and gripping, the writing is not as effortless. The descriptions tend to be on the lengthy side (especially for background characters) and wordy. Some key plot points can be easily predicted if you're paying attention. But that's alright - this is Virdi's first published work, and I'm certain that the next one will be better.
I'm going to give this book 5/5 stars - Not docking any points for style because DARN IT THAT BOOK WAS FUN! Would recommend to anybody in need of a fun, smart novel, who loves a supernatural tale.
Check it out here!