Loose Ends – Mary O’Reilly Book One Review

Let me first say that I only just got a Kindle for Christmas.  I was perusing the free books and stumbled across the Mary O’Reilly series by Terri Reid.  I’m an avid lover of horror, steampunk, urban fantasy, and paranormal books.  That’s not to say those are the only genre’s I read, but they’re among my favorite.  The blurb at the Kindle store for Loose Ends sounded pretty good, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat I’m glad that I did!
“Dying is what changed Mary O’Reilly’s life. Well, actually, coming back from the dead and having the ability to communicate with ghosts is really what did it. Now, a private investigator in rural Freeport, Illinois, Mary’s trying to learn how to incorporate her experience as a Chicago cop and new-found talent into a real job. Her challenge is to solve the mysteries, get real evidence (a ghost’s word just doesn’t hold up in court), and be sure the folks in town, especially the handsome new police chief, doesn’t think she’s nuts. Twenty-four years ago, a young woman drowned in the swimming pool of a newly elected State Senator. It was ruled an accident. But now, as the Senator prepares to move on to higher positions, the ghost of the woman is appearing to the Senator’s wife. Mary is hired to discover the truth behind the death. She unearths a connection between the murder and the disappearance of five little girls whose cases, twenty-four years later, are still all unsolved. As she digs further she becomes the next target for serial killer’s quest to tie up all his loose ends.”
Terri Reid wove Loose Ends together beautifully.  There were some bits that were foreshadowed a little too well.  That is to say, I knew the Police Chief Bradley was her mysterious racing partner almost as soon as one and the other were mentioned.  However, the characters are witty, fun, and despite having their own dark pasts, they aren’t broody and depressing.  They have unique personalities, flaws, and strengths.  It was also a unique perspective on someone who’s a medium and able to see ghosts.
It took me a day to read this – mostly because I was doing it in between chats at work and when I could get a moment to myself at home – but it’s an addictive read.  Reid knows how to keep the reader engaged in the well thought out plot involving politicians, missing girls, a murdered pregnant woman from the eighties, and a few ghosts that need help along the way.  The chemistry between Mary and Bradley isn’t forced, and I like that she didn’t try pushing them together, especially with Bradley still mourning his wife and child who have been missing for eight years.  Instead the attraction slowly builds more and more throughout the book instead of just smooshing them together like two blow up dolls being used as instructional sex toys.  Which reminds me – I love the fact that Rosie’s emergency fashion kit contains a blow up doll which was not just something quirky in the plot – it’s in there for a reason.
I love when writers think things through.  The little details enhance the story so much.  Reid is able to give vivid – yet not too much description to bog the story down.  It’s consistently moving forward with enough information to keep the story flowing so that the readers are fulfilled with the information, and not so much that you’re drowning in factual data.  It’s a great balance, an engaging read, and yes, I will absolutely be picking up the next one in the series.  Be careful if you decide to start on this journey.  It’s like a drug addiction.  Once you inject yourself with this creative story, you’ll find yourself jonesing for your next fix.
I’m giving Loose Ends four out of five stars. The only reason it’s not five is because for me, it was too easy to figure out a few points in the book, but that didn’t want me to stop reading it.  It only made me want more!
For more on Terri Reid and her phenomenal series you can visit here website:

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