Possession, by Kat Richardson

Possession, the eighth installment in Kat Richardson's Greywalker series, continues the author's hot streak of coming up with deliciously creepy stories inspired by horrific episodes in Seattle's past. I have read and enjoyed every one of these books, and Possession is no exception—but Richardson's limitations as a writer are definitely becoming more apparent.

After an attack that left her legally dead for two minutes, Seattle-based private investigator Harper Blaine was given a questionable gift: she can see the Grey, the paranormal world that overlaps our own. Harper has battled witches, ghosts, and vampires, but when she is hired to investigate a bizarre medical mystery, she finds herself just as perplexed as everyone else. The client's sister is living in a persistent vegetative state. The woman shows no signs of higher brain function, but she has begun sitting up and painting. As soon as she finishes a picture, she lies back down, and none of the machines monitoring her condition indicate that anything happened at all. The client is convinced her sister is possessed, but Harper's not so sure... particularly when she learns of two other patients in similar situations, and realizes that something major is stirring in the Grey.

Possession deals with one of the ickiest stories in Seattle's long history of 'em, and Richardson does her material full justice. Unfortunately, an ongoing series needs more than just a great individual plot, and this is where the Greywalker books have begun to fall apart: the main character grows less and less interesting with every book. Having established her heroine's few outside interests in earlier installments, Richardson now seems content to focus on her mystery du jour, but I would find Harper so much more engaging if I had any sense of her “normal” life. Does she watch TV? Only buy organic produce? Have an opinion on the Cascadia Cup rivalry? Anything would help, because right now she seems less like a fully-developed character and more like a video game NPC—a pleasant but ultimately forgettable creation whose main purpose is to guide us through the action.
Posted by: Julianka


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