Thursday, July 11, 2013

Relatively Dead by Sheila Connolly

Relatively Dead
Photo from Goodreads
Kindle Edition
Published May 16th 2013 by Beyond the Page

Summary from Amazon:
From New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly!

Abby Kimball has just moved to New England with her boyfriend and is trying to settle in, but the experience is proving to be quite unsettling, to say the least. While on a tour of local historic homes, Abby witnesses a family scene that leaves her gasping for breath—because the family has been dead for nearly a century. Another haunting episode follows, and another, until it seems to Abby that everything she touches is drawing her in, calling to her from the past.

Abby would doubt her sanity if it weren’t for Ned Newhall, the kind and knowledgeable guide on that disturbing house tour. Rather than telling her she’s hallucinating, Ned takes an interest in Abby’s strange encounters and encourages her to figure out what’s going on, starting with investigating the story of the family she saw . . . and exploring her own past.

But as Abby begins to piece together a history that’s as moving as it is shocking and unravels a long-ago mystery that nearly tore her family apart, she also begins to suspect that Ned’s got secrets of his own, and that his interest may be driven as much by a taste for romance as a love for history.

My Thoughts:
     I would describe Relatively Dead as a bit historical, romantic, and paranormal.
Abby Kimball moved to Massachusetts with Brad, her boyfriend of two years. He is constantly pestering her to get out of the house to meet new people and find a job. Abby finally decides to take a tour of some historical homes around town. At the last house, she suddenly finds herself "seeing" things that are not there. Ned Newhall is there and helps her calm down. He asks her about what happened and encourages her to look into the house's past, but doesn't pressure her to do so.
     Abby starts doing research on the people who owned the house years ago. At the same time, things with Brad seem a little awkward. He's either in a good mood or a bad one, depending on how work went that day, and he takes it out on her. She tries to be the nice girlfriend and listen to his ranting, but it has started to get old. She also tries to share her family history with him, but after a few minutes he gets distracted by work or a game on television. He is hardly home on the weekends, so this gives her the chance to share her findings with Ned because she doesn't want to mention the "visions" to Brad. She knows he would just call her crazy and say she needs to see a doctor...or a shrink.
     After a while, Abby manages to find a decent job, which ends up taking a lot of time away from her research. She becomes too tired to make sure Brad's dinner is on the table when he gets home. She figures he is an adult and can take on more of his share of the household chores now that she isn't sitting around at home all day. As the story progresses, Abby discovers more about her family history and how she may be connected to the people she saw in her "vision". She also learns why she feels these strong emotions along with them and what they mean.

I liked how Abby seemed to grow up over the course of the story. She went from a quiet person who wanted to please everyone, to a woman that was tired of being trampled over. I think there was a lot of foreshadowing in the story...Brad, family ties, etc. I picked up on a few things before Abby put them together herself, making it a bit predictable. Although, I think Abby and Ned being together kind of came out of nowhere for me. I also felt that the ending snuck up on me. I just turned the page and there was nothing else. I wish they would have figured out more about why and how they both came to see these "visions". What was special about their ancestors to be able to pass down the ability and to leave the visions only when there were such strong emotions. I wish there was a epilogue or maybe even part of a series so that I could find out more.

About the Author:
Sheila Connolly began writing mysteries in 2001, and has since been nominated for an Agatha Award twice. Her most recent book is the nationally bestselling Buried in a Bog, the first book in the County Cork Mystery Series. Sheila is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Sour Apples (Orchard Mystery Series) and Fire Engine Dead (Museum Mystery Series). She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and three cats.
Relatively Dead can be purchased here on Amazon.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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