In this second installment of the Ruined series, New Yorker Rebecca Brown heads back to New Orleans, where new mysteries—and new ghosts—await.
Rebecca—sure that her dealings with ghosts had ended with the breaking of the family curse—is hoping for a haunt-free return trip to New Orleans to enjoy spring break with her father and her best friend, Ling. But when a handsome, blue-eyed boy named Frank appears to her, explaining his need to retrieve a locket from an old, abandoned house in Tremé, Rebecca knows she has to help. Since Frank was supposed to be delivering the locket when he was murdered, he must complete the delivery soon or else be trapped in the ghost world forever. Retrieving a locket sounds like an easy task, until Rebecca realizes that there’s another ghost, the very one who murdered Frank, plus Rebecca’s flesh-and-blood nemesis Toby Sutton, trying to thwart her at every turn. New Orleans is richly evoked, with accurate details, believable local characters and (slightly overdone) dinner-table discussions of gentrification. Rebecca’s love interest, Anton, has a regrettably small role; readers may find themselves wishing for more romantic interludes and less unnecessary recapping of the plot, but this is a small quibble.
A solid and satisfying paranormal mystery, this offering will please existing fans and may win over some new ones to boot. (postscript) (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)