Ghosts and their unfinished business, families, relationships play major roles in Jaime Lee Moyer‘s novel Delia’s Shadow. Add on to that the strong urge to right the wrongs of the past and build a better future, and you’ve got yourself a haunting ghost story. The book tells the story of how a young woman’s ability to see and communicate with the dead ultimately affects the lives of those around her.
Delia Martin has returned to San Francisco a few years after the earthquake of 1906 to attend the wedding of her friend, Sadie. Delia, who has always been able to see spirits, confides to Sadie about the current ghost who is following her, a woman she has christened Shadow. Sadie suggests that they go to see a spiritualist friend of hers, Isadora Bobet, to get help for Delia. Sadie’s fiance, Jack, and his friend, Gabriel, accompany the women to Isadora’s tent at the World’s Fair. Jack and Gabriel, who are both police detectives, are investigating a rash of serial murders that eerily resemble cases from thirty years ago. Soon, Gabriel and Delia realize that Shadow might be related to the previous string of murders, and the two combine resources to bring the killer to justice.
Moyer outdoes herself, blending the elements of strong friendships, a budding romance, the discovery of family secrets, and the desire to bring a killer to justice together in this novel. Sadie and Delia are as close to each other as sisters, and their affection for one another is very real. The romance between Delia and Gabriel, who is still mourning the loss of his wife in the earthquake, starts out as a gentle friendship and blossoms into a romance between two people who love one another as equals. The relationship that I found to be the most stirring is that between Isadora and Delia, which is one of mentor and student. Isadora, who is familiar with the spirit world, guides Delia through the process of finding out just who Shadow is and helps Delia to get some control over her abilities. She helps Delia to come into her own as a psychic and allows her to make choices that will benefit the greater good and later, herself.
I would give this novel three out of five unicorns.
I received an advanced review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.