Title: Delia's Shadow
Author: Jaime Lee Moyer
Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Publisher: Tor - September 17th
Source: Review copy from publisher
“It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.
Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.
It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.
And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.”
The 1906 San Francisco earthquake left Delia Martin orphan and gifted her with the ability to see ghosts. She would rather have her parents that a gift that feels more like a curse; but with no way to stop it she tries to live her life as normal as possible in a city plagued with ghosts, until the day she has enough and leaves San Francisco behind in search of a new and quieter life in New York.
After couple of peaceful years in New York the ghost of a woman starts to haunt Delia. Delia names the ghost Shadow because she doesn’t know how to communicate. Delia knows Shadow is somehow connected to San Francisco and would not leave her alone until she helps her with whatever is she needs.
Delia is back in San Francisco, the timing is almost perfect, her best friend (Sadie) is getting married soon and needs Delia’s help with the wedding preparations. Sadie also needs help taking care of her convalescent mother, a woman that became Delia’s mother after hers died in the earthquake.
Sadie wants Delia to be as happy as she is with Jack and plays matchmaker. With the excuse of the wedding she invites Jack’s best friend and partner, Gabe, to have dinner with her and Delia.
Jack and Gabe are both police detectives and right now they are very busy, but they can’t say no to Sadie; they are investigating a series of vicious murders that have happened across the city; murders that are very similar to some that occurred in the city over 30 years ago and coincidentally Gabe’s father investigated but never found the culprit.
After meeting Gabe Delia knows he is the only person that can help her with Shadow, because for some reason there is a connection between Shadow and the serial killer than is prowling the city.
What Delia didn’t know when she decided to help Shadow was that her life would be in danger; at least now, she has Gabe by her side.
Delia hasn’t had an easy life, since her early years life have been tough with her. She has tried to do her best with what life has dealt her and even though she doesn’t believe it, she’s a strong person. She is afraid of Shadow and what it means for her, but that is easily understandable. Despite her misgiving about this whole situation she goes forward and does what she must.
Gabe lost his wife and his unborn child during the earthquake/fire of 1906. He hasn’t get over their loss; his only outlet is his job and now that a serial killer is not only making of San Francisco his/her playground, but it’s also taunting him by leaving letters addressed to him, Gabe knows he will solve this case whatever the cost. The only thing Gabe wasn’t counting with was with meeting a woman that has awaken in him feelings he thought forever lost, but now that he has met Delia he will do everything in his power to protect her.
The array of secondary characters made of Delia’s Shadow an even more enjoyable story.
Sadie is one of those persons that want the best for others; she’s caring, loving and very sweet.
Jack is the best friend that anyone would want to have. His love for Sadie is clear, same with his affection for Gabe, they are almost as brothers and have a great chemistry working together.
A character that really surprised me was Theodora. When she was first mention in the book I thought she was a fraud, but after meeting her I couldn’t help it but like her. She has a personality bigger than words can express and the pages light up when she was on them.
The plot is well paced, with a perfect balance of suspense and romance. The murders are gritty and the story is engaging enough that you won’t be able to put the book down until you reach its very end. My only complaint is that the end felt a bit rushed.
One of my favorite things about Delia's Shadow is the setting. Mrs. Lee Moyer’s words bring to life the Victorian San Francisco of 1915 and the famous Panama American Expo. Her depiction of the city and the life of the time was so vivid and realistic that I only needed to close my eyes to be there with the characters.
Delia's Shadow by Jaime Lee Moyer is more than a story about ghosts, it’s also a police investigation packed with suspense, mystery and ghastly crimes.
I’m looking forward to read more books by Mrs. Lee Moyer.
My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws
Other reviews Goodreads