Zoe Martinique is a private investigator with a difference, she has the ability to travel outside of her body - an ability she uses to find out information she wouldn't otherwise have access to. However, one night, things go seriously wrong when she witnesses a murder, worse still, the killer is also a Traveler and tries to pursue her. Now it's a race against time, as Zoe tries to help the detective investigating the case, whilst staying one step ahead of the bad guys.
Bear with the first few pages where Zoe introduces herself and explains the mechanics of astral travel because once the story gets going you're in for a wild ride. Wraith is written in a first person, stream of consciousness style that won't be for everybody - we get to hear every thought that passes through Zoe's head without benefit of a filter. But by chapter 7 I've got a smile on my face and am running with the story. I don't want to put the book down.
As well as the mystery of the murder and why the killer can see Zoe (be warned it gets complicated so you'll need to concentrate), we get to eavesdrop on the various relationships in Zoe's life. This book has one of the most realistic mother/daughter relationships I've read. To begin with it seems very fraught, with the inevitable frictions that such close relationships can develop, but eventually you see that there is an incredibly deep love between the two characters - this made the book for me.
Zoe does take stupid risks, a fact for which she is somewhat apologetic. Unlike some TSTL heroines I think there is a valid reason for her behaviour. She first astral projects during a brutal attack which leaves her in a coma. So maybe she feels that if she didn't continue to behave as she wanted to - even when she knows she's taking a risk - that she would be denying a part of herself. But sometimes she should listen to that little voice that tells her to stop and think! Hopefully by the end of this book she's learnt that lesson - though somehow I doubt it.
If I had to be picky there are a couple of places where I wasn't 100% sure of what was going on and the epilogue (which takes place two weeks after the main story concludes), gives Wraith a slightly strange ending. However, when the story is so original and the characters and dialogue are so well written that is easily forgivable. My fingers are crossed that this isn't the last we've heard from Zoe Martinique. I want to know what trouble she's going to get herself into next.
Zoe Martinique is a PI, mostly because of her unique ability to astral travel, which can help when spying on the odd unfaithful spouse or finding out where the second set of books were hidden. But during one investigation Zoe stumbles on another astral walker who happens to kill someone - and knows Zoe saw him. Worse, he happens to be an astral walker too, and one with more abilities than her own.
Zoe is a very human character, she's got fairly significant flaws, as do we all. It's a well written book, and progresses with reasonable pace - a little slow at times, but satisfying overall - and is about a supernatural person in an otherwise fairly normal world. I normally eat these books right up. Yet something about this one just stopped me from loving it. I felt a distance from the central character and the story as a whole. It just wasn't especially engaging for me.
'Have Powers, will travel... Zoe Martinique was just your average, single female, past 25, looking for love and/or exciting job opportunities. Until life handed her the dubious ability to travel outside her body at will-which she turned into a career, hiring herself out as a literal spook. Industrial espionage, domestic surveillance, you name it-when she's traveling she can see but can't be seen...Then one night things get out of hand while she is out-of-body: Zoe witnesses a murder. What's worse, the killer is also a traveler-and he most definitely not only sees her, but tries to pursue her. To save herself, Zoe must somehow guide the very handsome detective assigned to the case to the truth without revealing herself. And with the help of her semi-psychic mom, a pair of gay ghosts, and her best friend (a goth techno-witch), she also has to figure out exactly who-and what-the murderer is, before he finds her and puts an end to her traveling-permanently'
'Wraith' is the first novel in the Zoe Martinique Investigation series. What a great start! This novel gets only better with the more pages you turn. Zoe is a 'down-to-Earth' humerous and stubborn 'narrator'. I really liked the interaction between all the energetic characters in this book and was left intrigued and extremely curious as to some information we are given, but is not expanded upon. This novel reads like a mystery and just when you think you have it worked out, another thing or some-thing pops up! Great! I finished this book wanting to start the next one. I was left wanting more! An interesting and thrilling read.
I've just finished reading this and, while it was a great read from start to... erm... near the end, I couldn't believe the author could spoil it so badly right at the end. I'm referring to the (approx) last seven pages (excluding epilogue), where what might be seen as loose ends were being tidied up, the plot revealed, the true villain unmasked... and a resurrection of a plot thread that either should have been left open for the next book or left closed as completed but not, absolutely not, brought back having closed it once.
Some might disagree, but I found that one point terribly disappointing and spoilt an otherwise good book.
It says a lot when you can't get through more than 20 pages of a book. The premise is really interesting; the writing? Sucks. It's in first person and reads like a 15 year old and not a 20-something year old. I tried to stick with it but I just couldn't, which is a shame because I was looking forward to this book.