John Parker is a Graduate-qualified English/Spanish Teacher, owner and director of CHAT ENGLISH, an English Language Centre in Avilés on the north coast of Spain . A voracious reader, he has particularly loved horror fiction for many years.
Bill Eisner is the owner of a coffee shop, “The Cozy Cup” which he opened after becoming disillusioned with law practice.
His best friend Roger Southfield, a seasoned techie and hacker persuades Bill to accompany him to a speed dating event. At this event, he meets Amber Love, an amazingly beautiful yet mysterious woman who we later discover works as a paranormal reporter for a publication called Midnight Whisperer. Bill is besotted with her but she is abruptly killed and, shortly after, Bill receives messages from beyond the grave, from Amber…
The novel is certainly not bad. The idea of messages from the dead is quite intriguing. It keeps your attention until the end although it sags in parts. Bill is quite a nicely conceived character but, worryingly, when Amber fails to call him after their first meeting, he actually stalks her. Admittedly, Bill feels bad and recognises that he could be perceived as a stalker, but he nevertheless goes to her workplace and later follows her and her friends to a bar where, after they go in, “he couldn’t see his prey”. The detectives, Ryan and Specter, are quite believable characters overall but when they break the news to Amber’s mother about her daughter’s death, her reaction is more as if Amber was someone she was vaguely acquainted with rather than that of a grieving mother.
As I stated above, the novel is not bad and it does make you want to see what happens in the end. Much of the dialogue is well-written and sounds right, though there are times when it does not ring true such as the scene mentioned above and also a scene with Ernie, the ex-husband with a restraining order in Chapter Six. On the other hand, I really liked the scenes between Bill and Roger. So, it is certainly not a book you will abandon in the middle but one with a few problems of pacing and dialogue. Despite that, Schatt shows promise and will only get better and better with time.