Verdict: Absorbing, well-paced, and suspenseful, THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR is a pitch-perfect supernatural mystery with plenty of twists to keep readers guessing.
After she finds the spirit of a murdered girl trapped in a mirror, a woman uses her gift of communicating with the dead to uncover the truth about the girl’s untimely death.
Sarah Greene has been able to see and speak to spirits ever since she was a teenager, following the tragic death of her best friend. Though she’s trying to consider her ability a gift from God, it’s not always easy—not when it comes with nightmares, gruesome images of the dead, and terrifying visions that interrupt her waking life. Sarah’s power is triggered while renovating a new house with her ex-husband, where she has an encounter with a dead girl trapped in an antique mirror. When she realizes the girl may have been murdered and discovers the house itself has a brutal and dark history, Sarah takes it upon herself to investigate. But the search for the truth awakens sinister paranormal forces that might put Sarah and her loved ones in harm’s way.
THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR is the first installment in the Sarah Greene Mysteries series, and while the book plays with the usual mystery genre conventions, it has the added intrigue of supernatural elements. It’s an excellent first entry to this exciting new series, set in the California town of Dos Santos where a shady history lends itself to all kinds of paranormal drama for protagonist Sarah Greene. Author Steven Ramirez weaves a gripping mystery at the center of the novel, and the unpredictable twists keep the pages turning well into the last act. Though there are some parts of the climax and conclusion that feel a little rushed, the story moves at a good pace. Plot threads and secondary characters are introduced at the right moments to flesh out the central mystery and drive the story forward. There’s plenty of suspense to go around; Ramirez is especially skilled at creating tension where it counts.
Even though THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR has a lot of dark and unsavory themes, the story doesn’t linger on the heaviness. There’s a delicate balance of humor and character dynamics that add a richness to the story’s world. Sarah Greene makes for a compelling, likeable, intelligent protagonist, whose sharp wit and sense of humor provides relief from the ominous forces plaguing her life. Her familial bonds are a strong facet of her character, and her good—though unconventional—relationship with her ex-husband manages to avoid many of the stereotypical tropes. Readers will be satisfied by the outcome of this first mystery, and Ramirez leaves room for the supernatural plot threads to expand as the series continues.
Absorbing, well-paced, and suspenseful, THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR is a pitch-perfect supernatural mystery with plenty of twists to keep readers guessing.
~Jessica Thomas for IndieReader