I didn't know what to expect when I sat down to read The Search by author Shiree McCarver, and I have to say that I was taken surprise.This book was different and I mean that in a good
What it's About: The story is a historical, supernatural mystery that takes place (for a majority of the story at least) on what we now know as Alcatraz. Our characters are Rain Deerfield and Wen Da Yang. Rain is a gun-toting African-American woman who prefers to wear mens clothing, is a bounty hunter, and who tracks missing POC for their loved ones. She's currently searching for her best friend on behalf of her (friend's) parents. Her best friend is a Chinese woman whom she grew up with in the traveling circus that their parents were members of. Her search for Mei Ling takes her to San Francisco where she ends up pretending to be a woman seeking employment as a domestic on Alcatraz. Her new employer is Wen Da Yang, a doctor living on the island along with his uncle and aunt. Mei Ling was meant to be Wen's mail order bride but according to the doctor she accepted the money he sent, but never arrived. Rain has to figure out what happened to her friend, fight the attraction between herself and the good doctor, and deal with - ghostly encounters. Yes folks, there be ghosts on that there island and they've got secrets to tell...
The Good: I loved the ghost story-line in this book! How refreshingly different for this genre! These ghosts were adequately creepy with some desperate and others sinister. The mystery was a good one and although there was a certain amount of predictability to the mystery, there were just enough twists so that I couldn't figure out all of the details. Another thing that I enjoyed about this book are the emotions that it invoked while I was reading. I shivered in revulsion at certain discoveries made by the protagonists and felt sorrow as details of Rain's past were disclosed. I sympathized with what both characters went through and that's a plus when reading a book.
The Bad: The Search dragged a bit in some areas that I felt didn't lend themselves to the actual telling of the story. These parts took you away from the meat of the story, which for me was the mystery. During these spots I honestly wanted to skip to more interesting and meaningful storytelling, but stuck it through for fear of missing some important detail. I also didn't feel that the love scenes between Wen and Rain were a strength in the story. I loved their love, and the ending was quite fantastic, but the love scenes, at least some of them, seemed as if they were there just to be there.
The Bottom Line: This is only my second book by Shiree McCarver and I'm finding that she's one author who isn't afraid to step outside of the proverbial box when it comes to writing IR romance. She is refreshingly unique and I admire that about her. I give The Search 3.5 stars and recommend it to anyone who wants a good mystery with a touch of supernatural flavor.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Published: March 14, 2013
Number of Pages: 320Available at: Amazon