When Caitlin Ross books her band at the new pub in town, the rest of the group is thrilled. She regrets it the second she sets foot inside. An expensive remodel can’t hide the owner’s rudeness or the vile atmosphere. When no one else notices, she wonders if she’s crazy—until a ghost’s appearance at the end of the second set forces her to confront a secret she’s been keeping for years. Caitlin’s a Witch, with the power to perceive things others can’t. An unbearable choice drove her to trade magic for a mundane life, and she wants nothing to do with the unseen world.
As she struggles to maintain a normal life, Caitlin discovers the ghost isn’t the only problem at the pub. The site is the center of local legends and mysterious disappearances. Investigating further, Caitlin uncovers secrets, lies, and a web of dark magic set to strangle the town she’s learned to call home. She can prevent chaos from ripping friends and families apart only if she chooses magic over her own safety and makes a bargain she’s been running from for years. The power is hers to claim. The price: an unthinkable sacrifice.
Fun, well-written novel with a compelling ghostly mystery to solve. The main characters have an established marriage and work well as a magical and investigative team. The sense of place is really strong. A bit unusual for a paranormal fantasy in my experience, the magic is based on modern pagan/Wiccan/shamanic practices rather than vampire and werewolf mythology. If you like your entertainment reading to teach you stuff, you'll appreciate the Celtic music references (I hope a future edition of the book will come with a mix CD :) and learning how to read Tarot cards.
The Unquiet Grave is the first in the Caitlin Ross series of books.
Followers of Katherine Lampe or of my reviews on Author Alliance will probably remember that I reviewed The Parting Glass a few months ago. That book was the story of how Caitlin and her husband Timber met. Technically, it was the beginning of their story. Yet it is actually Book 4 in the series. The Unquiet Grave is book 1.
We meet Caitlin and Timber years after The Parting Glass. They've left Boulder and have now settled in Gondorosa. Caitlin has renounced magic after a particularly bad time that we don't learn about until the end of the book. She and Timber are happy, but for Timber's part, he isn't all that keen on the fact that Caitlin has renounced a part of her very soul.
The book begins with Red Branch, Caitlin and Timber's band, playing a gig at a new pub, The Emerald Isle. When Caitlin goes through the door, she's hit with a presence so strong it knocks her back. The pub is the site of long held problems and has only recently been reopened under a new owner, Sean Casey.
The Unquiet Grave follows events that led to the pub's poor reputation, all traced back to a demon, bound long ago to that place. Caitlin is the only one who can put an end to the evil and prevent the demon from wreaking havoc on the world. But to do this, she must accept the truth of who she is. She's a witch and magic is a part of her.
It's no secret that I'm a fan of Katherine Lampe. This book did not disappoint me. While I did prefer The Parting Glass, it was only because as a writer, Katherine has improved from this book to that one. Four books will do that. That said, this book is a brilliant first book in the series. I'm still in love with these characters. In fact, I struggled to finish the book for several days because I did not want it to end. You see, Ms. Lampe has done such a good job with the characters that when I finish a Caitlin Ross book, I tend to dream about her and Timber for a few days. I worry about them. There are only a few authors who can do that for me.
Well written, with only a few minor editing issues, this is an excellent book and I cannot recommend it and the Caitlin Ross series enough.