ARC review, book launch, book review, ghost, Second Sky, thriller

New Release: The Spirit Girls by Dawn Merriman

Rylan Flynn’s ability to see ghosts has made her a pariah in her small hometown of Ashby, but her popular YouTube ghost hunting series, Beyond the Dead, filmed with assistant Mickey Ramirez, has also made her something of a celebrity. 

When a young woman is found murdered on her aunt’s property, Rylan Flynn’s ability to communicate with ghosts proves more troublesome than helpful. When a second body turns up, and her aunt becomes prime suspect, Rylan must use her gift to prove her aunt’s innocence, and end the killing in Ashby. 

An entertaining thriller that should appeal to fans of the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz, Hunter Shea’s Jessica Backman books, and the tv series Medium. 

The mystery is wrapped up by the end of this book, but The Spirit Girls feels like the pilot episode to a new show. All the main characters are introduced – Rylan, her family, her love interest. Even her nemesis. There are a couple of ongoing mysteries that hint at the overarching plot to the season. We get to see Rylan in action, doing what she does, and the book ends with a teaser for a future case. 

It’s not a bad thing that The Spirit Girls appears to borrow its beats from television, but I wish it had embraced the written form a bit more. When you watch a show, the sets and actors provide a lot of world building by just being there, and while all the pieces were in place in this novel, I never got a feel for how they interacted. It all felt very new, rather than lived in, and the first person perspectives didn’t give me a feel for the characters as much as I would have liked. 

However, there was a lot I loved about this book. The core mystery is great. It’s spooky, exciting, well paced and generally ticked all the paranormal thriller boxes for me. 

I loved Rylan’s relationship with her mother, the reason for her messy house, and the thing in the bedroom. The living situation gave me vibes of young Elise from Insidious: The Last Key, which I loved. These elements got me invested, and I’m eager to find out more. 

Rylan’s father is a pastor, and I loved how they’d ghost hunt together and help the spirits pass over. 

George, aunt Val’s black lab cross, was a sweet addition. Every book should have a dog. 

This is an entertaining read that I enjoyed and will please fans of the sub genre. 

6 thoughts on “New Release: The Spirit Girls by Dawn Merriman”

  1. This sounds like an engaging read, Iseult, and I liked how you compared the television version to the book. The mediums share a lot but have some significant differences when it comes to world-building. Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

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