I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
As I was reading this book, several small issues presented themselves to me with regard to story line and plot, and I thought to myself "3 / 3.5 star read for this one - not my favorite of the series" while making a mental note to mention these issues in my review.
I'm finished with the book now, and I can't remember a single damn one of the things I meant to mention. While I'm certain that doesn't say anything good about my apparently sieve-like memory, I'd also like to think that it does say something good about the overall quality of the story; I was able to forget the not-so-great and get caught up in a rollicking good ghost story.
M.J. and her boyfriend/partner Heath are mediums and the subjects of a cable tv series about ghost busting. I quite like M.J. and Heath, but I have to admit that her best friend and partner/research assistant, Gilley, is not my favorite member of the series cast. He's meant to be flamboyant and over-the-top, and most of the time I can appreciate that in a character, but he's too over-the-top and often times he's insensitive and selfish. But to give credit where credit is due, he's MUCH better in this book than he has been in previous books. He's much less a drama queen and the story is all the better for it.
Most of the books centre on each of their filming locations, but The Ghoul Next Door has them back in M.J.'s home city of Boston on filming hiatus. Her ex-boyfriend comes to her asking for help with a possible possession case and before they can help the victim, there's a murder and he's implicated. Events and circumstances compel them to continue their research and investigation into the possession, stumbling on a much more complicated story than a mere possession.
As I mentioned in the beginning of my review, this plot is not without it's inconsistencies. Others may have a better time remembering them than I did, but I'd rather have such a good time reading a book that I forget about it's flaws, than put a book down at the end with only the flaws leaving their imprint behind. In the acknowledgements, Ms. Laurie is very upfront about losing one of her dear friends to ALS while writing this book. A recurring character in her series (and a major one in this book) is based on him and I can't imagine that wouldn't impact what we read here, so if the plot isn't flawless, well, it's hard not to understand why that might be so.
If you are a fan of horror, terror, books that give you nightmares or books you can't read while you're alone at home, I can only recommend this book as perhaps a relaxing sedative replacement. If you're like me and you stay away from all of the above but occasionally like spooky ghost stories that are almost scary, the kind that almost-but-not-quite give you goosebumps, this is the book (and series) to try. These are really fun ghost stories that will make your heart speed up just that little bit. I can't wait for the next one.