The Tempest Murders was the perfect mystery to read on New Year’s Eve in Texas, even though it was set on the coast, during hurricane season. Why? Because when you’re on holiday time anyway, having a novel that is set before, during, and after a major storm just makes the world recede even further, and the story live more.
Boy did this story live.
Part of it takes place in the past, in the dreams of main character Ryan, who is reliving the events of a couple centuries before as he sleeps. The series of murders he dreams about are eerily similar to a serial killer case he’s working on in the current era, and when the woman who is his lover in his dreams appears before him in the guise of a news reporter following his investigation things get incredibly surreal.
The investigation itself was fairly obvious, which meant the puzzle part of the mystery wasn’t really “whodunnit?” but “how do we PROVE whodunnit?” and “why did he do it?” This isn’t at all a bad thing, but it means that The Tempest Murders sometimes feels more like a paranormal romance with mystery interludes than anything else. (In truth, I’m fairly certain that’s the author’s intention.)
The characters are interesting and dimensional, and I enjoyed the story immensely. This isn’t a novel for scholarly discussion or term paper fodder, but it’s definitely an entertaining read, and makes you wonder about concepts like genetic history and reincarnation. The only flaw is that we didn’t get ENOUGH of the paranormal – no explanation, and both Ryan (the detective) and Cait (the reporter) seemed to have little problem just accepting the premise behind Ryan’s dreams and the eventual resolution.
Goes well with shepherd’s pie and hard cider. Driving rainstorm optional.
For information about the author, P.M. Terrell, see the book spotlight I posted last Friday.