I ain’t afraid of no ghost: POSSESSION by Kat Richardson

Posted 22 July, 2013 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 22 Comments

POSSESSION (Graywalker #8) by Kat Richardson
Urban Fantasy/Mystery
368 pages, hardcover
Available August 6, 2013
Publisher: Roc
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

When a comatose woman suddenly wakes up and starts painting scenes she’s never witnessed, with a skill she’s never had, medical science has no explanation. As more bizarre phenomena manifest, even her doctors start to wonder if the woman may be possessed. Frustrated and frightened, the patient’s sister reluctantly turns to Greywalker Harper Blaine to discover who—or what—is occupying her sister’s body.

As Harper digs into the case of apparent possession, she discovers other patients struck with the same mystifying afflictions and a disturbing connection to one of the most gruesome stories in Washington’s history…

Spirits and possession and hauntings…oh, my! The eighth book in the Graywalker series sees intrepid Harper Blaine hunting down the reason why three people in persistent vegetative states are suddenly “communicating”with those around them, despite the fact they aren’t awake or interacting in any other way. As Harper investigates, she realizes that something’s got the ghosts of Seattle all stirred up, more so than usual. 

One of the best ghost stories I’ve read in a while, POSSESSION delves into Seattle’s wild history, pulling forth intriguing and very creepy true stories while weaving them seamlessly into the fictional path Harper is pursuing. A couple of my favorites include the “doctor” who starved her patients to death (one of the first recorded female serial killers *shudder*) and the bar that used to be a mortuary. 

This series is so well-written that you can pick up any book and have a complete, self-contained story. Sure, there is some backstory to contend with but it’s a relatively minor distraction against the intriguing mysteries (Though I do want Harper to have a bit more satisfaction in her love life and a bit more of a life outside of her ferret). In this novel, the story arc involving Quinton’s father is key but, again, you don’t have to have read prior novels to realize that this dude is bad news for the paranormal world and that he’s a batshit crazy zealot in his pursuit of what he believes is the “right” thing to do. 

While not as fast-moving as most of the other urban fantasies I regularly devour, POSSESSION moves at a quick pace as Harper plies her investigative skills around the city, asking questions and getting to the bottom of things. Harper herself is a fabulous character — she’s  intelligent and independent, quick-witted and able to handle just about anything thrown her way. And she does most of it with a modicum of violence (I know, right? Rare in UF!). Harper’s more of a hard-boiled detective than a someone who kicks ass first and asks questions later. Very refreshing.

A fantastic addition to an already-great series, POSSESSION will have you staying up late reading…with multiple lights on and maybe a warm dog to protect you.

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22 Responses to “I ain’t afraid of no ghost: POSSESSION by Kat Richardson”

  1. I’ve read the first five, I think and then I just stopped for no reason at all. I liked them, although I agree that they tend to develop slowly and the lack of romance (it’s there, but totally in the background, you know?) can be somewhat disappointing.
    Still, I need to go back to this, it’s very good UF.

    • I’m missing a couple of the books but I’d have to go through the blurbs to remember which ones. A couple in the middle. They’re all very well written mysteries with paranormal elements.

  2. I think I just got a finished copy of this in the mail Mary! I gave it to Cathy to read, but for some reason I didn’t realize it was the 8th book in the series. I thought it was like the second, but I’m glad to hear that aside from a little history, the story is self-contained and can be understood fully without having read the past books. That should make it easier for her! Lovely review as always:):)

    • It seems like this series doesn’t get a whole lot of attention, that it flies under the radar (sadly). But it’s well written and has good mystery so I’m thinking Cathy might really like it!

  3. Book #8? Eep…I’ve never heard of this series before.

    You made me giggle with this line “and a bit more of a life outside of her ferret” hehe


    Sorry, it was the warm dog protecting that did it. Trust me… haunted house and I get Scooby-Doo! Hm… maybe he’ll protect me for a Scooby treat? 🙂

    I so need to get this book. I’m sadly behind on this series. I think I’m at least 4 books behind! GAH! This sounds fab and I do love her ghostie stories in the series. I know that is odd coming from me, but since I started reading this one in order, I do want to stay that way. Don’t faint! LOL

    • Both of my dogs are useless as guard dogs — yeah, of course I get the Scooby-Doo dogs, too!! LOL.

      *picks self up from swoon* In ORDER?!? Heh. Kidding. Series like this are great when you read them in order but I do like that, if you get off track, it’s not so bad.

  5. I’ve never heard of this series before, but I think it’s cool that when you can start any book in the series and don’t have to read the previous novels to get what’s happening. Thanks for the review!

  6. I’m glad you mention that each book is a self contained story, that you don’t really need to read the others. I read the first years ago (and barely remember it) and have at least the last two. So maybe I’ll just delve in and read those instead of waiting until one day when I can read the whole series.

  7. I love it when you can pick up any book in a series and still understand what the heck is going on. I’m always grateful when authors write their books that way!

    This story sounds fabulously eerie. Thanks for the review! 🙂

  8. Okay I always get nervous about these never ending stories, but I like that it can be picked up like a standalone. You’ll have to tell me your favorite UF series, because I haven’t read a lot of them. Also, possession freaks me out big time!

    • I can understand that, as I tend to fall out of long series for no particular reason sometimes.

      If you’re looking to start UF, definitely check out this series (though it’s more mystery and paranormal), Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, The Walker Papers by CE Murphy, and Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts. God, there are so many fantastic ones, I have a hard time narrowing them down!!

  9. Ooh a hard boiled detective stye UF? This sounds kind of cool! Definitely different than the norm. Harper sounds fantastic, I think I’d definitely like her. Awesome review!

  10. This is a fun series. I’ve read all seven and am running to the store for number 8. I am wondering why it hasn’t caught on. I went to the Medford, Oregon Barnes and Noble and they only had two copies, and I think they were the early part of the series, nothing current.
    I write the Rye and Claire adventure series and trust me Kat Richardson has a great character in Harper Blaine. Go Kat.
    I like to think I’m doing my friends a favor when I loan, yes loan, them one of my Greywalker books.