The 900-year-old city of Edinburgh takes center stage in this middle-grade ghost story.
Since a near-death experience a year ago, Cassidy Blake can see ghosts. She can enter the Veil, the curtain between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her best friend, Jacob, is one of the “corporeally challenged.” Cass’ parents, paranormal-nonfiction authors known as the Inspecters (pun intended), have big news: The family is off to Scotland to film the first episode of their self-titled docuseries about haunted places. In Edinburgh, Cass meets Lara Chowdhury, a British-Indian girl who shares Cass’ ability. Lara informs Cass they are ghost hunters whose purpose is to help ghosts pass beyond the Veil (what Lara calls the “in-between”) to the “place beyond.” When a sinister specter known as the Raven in Red sets her malevolent sights on Cass, the American must use her new knowledge to save her own life. Cass narrates in the present tense, and Jacob, who can hear her thoughts, interrupts when he doesn’t agree with her. This clever narrative style choice and the real-world setting, which includes the cafe where Harry Potter was “born” and the most haunted cemetery in Europe, Greyfriars, firmly anchor the story in reality. The dead lack diversity, and biracial Lara seems to be the only living person of color (her father is British-Indian, and her mother is Scottish).
Begs to be read in the dark of night. (Paranormal adventure. 8-13)