Title: Dream, Recurring
Author: Mark Canniff
Published: August 2016, Mark Canniff
Genre: Paranormal mystery
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy from a publicist in exchange for an honest review.
Can there be a mystery that goes back over a hundred years, that only the dead can reveal?
Lucy has been having a recurring dream. Night after night she finds herself driving on a winding road with her best friend Sam. She feels lost as this path seems to lead to nowhere. That is until she discovers a house. Curious, she goes up to investigate, discovering that the place is empty. The mystery of the dream deepens when she realizes that she’s being haunted by an entity. Why is it attached to her? Both Sam and her uncover a piece of history that only those that have passed on have kept secret. Why is it so important and does it have anything to do with the dark being?
It suddenly becomes a race against time as they grasp that their very lives might be at stake.
Can they uncover what is really going on in time, before it’s too late?
Is there a connection between the house, the uncovered past and the evil entity?
At first, I wasn’t sure about this novel. I’ve never really read paranormal mysteries before. However, despite my being a coward, I am fascinated with the paranormal and I do love mysteries dearly. So, I decided to give this one a shot.
We follow Lucy, a photographer, and her friend Sam, a medium, as they rid spirits for their clients. It’s not until a ghost murders a newly wed groom at the church that Lucy and Sam realize something bad is going on.
Together, they try to figure out the cause of the spirit, why he’s there, and why he’s so angry. Both Lucy and Sam begin to have dreams. The spirits are trying to communicate with them, trying to help Lucy and Sam.
Overall, this is a good plot. I’ve seen many books where the dead communicate with the living to have them help find their killer or something along those lines. This added a slightly new twist where the ghosts were working with the dead to stop a raging spirit rather than trying to avenge themselves.
Needless to say, I liked the plot. It was intriguing and the paranormal activity was pretty creepy at times.
While I do like Lucy and Sam, I found it hard to relate to them. Both were protagonists, but it seemed as Lucy was more important than Sam. Lucy had more focus, even though we still barely know anything about her.
We didn’t learn anything about Sam’s past, but when Sam set Lucy up on a blind up, we learned that Lucy’s parents died prematurely. That’s all we know about her. I didn’t feel anything for Lucy when she revealed that either because I still don’t know Lucy at all.
There was character development towards the end, but we didn’t see any of it. One minute Lucy was dating Dan, but when something huge happened, she was suddenly in love with him. Nothing hinted at her falling in love with him even though we were in her head throughout the majority of the book.
What really knocked down my rating for this book was all the errors. There were spelling and grammatical errors throughout the entire book. Some words weren’t used properly. For example, instead of “sympathetic manner” it was written as, “sympathetic manor.” At first, I thought it was a typo, but it happened four times and that wasn’t the only word that was mistaken. The tense wasn’t consistent, either. Sometimes it jumped from past to present in the middle of a sentence. It made it really hard to read the story and jarred me out of the actual story telling because I had to reread sentences and paragraphs in an attempt to make any sense of them.
There was a lot of telling and not enough showing, either. When Sam had clients to do a medium reading for them, the narrator explained her clients’ story. Then when Sam was trying to communicate with the dead, she gave clues as to what was going on, but I already knew what was going on. It took the mystery away.
Finally, this may be a personal preference, but the book was written in the third person omniscient. We were in every single character’s head, including the really minor characters. I personally prefer the third person limited and, for a mystery, I didn’t think third person omniscient was the right choice. It took away a lot of the mystery and made the book predictable because the narration told me what was going on all the time.
Overall, the plot was interesting. It was unique and I enjoyed being spooked by the spirits. However, I wish I got to know Lucy and Sam better and I wish I was able to investigate the case alongside them instead of just reading about how they did it. Since it read like an unedited first draft, I had a hard time getting through it.
That why the book gets three stars from. There were too many mistakes and that’s why it was just an okay read for me.
Dream, Recurring by Mark Canniff gets…
3 out of 5 stars
“Be mindful that you are seeking truth and not revenge.” –Mark Canniff, Dream, Recurring
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