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The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James: A Book Review

The Other Side of Midnight
Author: Simone St. James
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: 2015
Pages:  331
Source: My State Public Library
 Synopsis: London, 1925. Glamorous medium Gloria Sutter made her fortune helping the bereaved contact loved ones killed during the Great War. Now she's been murdered at one of her own séances, after leaving a message requesting the help of her former friend and sole rival, Ellie Winter.

     Ellie doesn't contact the dead—at least, not anymore. She specializes in miraculously finding lost items. Still, she can't refuse the final request of the only other true psychic she has known. Now Ellie must delve into Gloria's secrets and plunge back into the world of hucksters, lowlifes, and fakes. Worse, she cannot shake the attentions of handsome James Hawley, a damaged war veteran who has dedicated himself to debunking psychics.

     As Ellie and James uncover the sinister mysteries of Gloria's life and death, Ellie is tormented by nightmarish visions that herald the grisly murders of those in Gloria's circle. And as Ellie’s uneasy partnership with James turns dangerously intimate, an insidious evil force begins to undermine their quest for clues, a force determined to bury the truth, and whoever seeks to expose it...

     My Review: Ellie Winter has been deemed by the New Society to be a fake psychic. Despite this setback, Ellie still finds lost things for her clients. During one of her private sessions, a stranger claims that he is Gloria Sutter’s brother, and he wants her to find Gloria. Gloria had once been Ellie’s rival, and is praised by psychics as being the only authentic one in the profession. Once she learns that Gloria has been murdered, she teams with James Hawley, who had a hand in debunking her, to find the killer.

     I didn’t like Ellie. She never really had any depth for me. She was mostly cold and distant. There were a few things that I liked about her. She was smart. She was also very determined to find out who killed Gloria. I also liked her psychic visions. However, for the most part, she was not that interesting of a character. She remained a Mary Sue. Her characteristics were pretty on paper, but there was hardly any depth to her. I was a bit disappointed that she was the main character, and I wished Gloria was the narrator instead. She seemed to be a much interesting character.

   Overall, this novel was full of mystery, suspense, and had a few paranormal aspects. This was a very quick, light, and enjoyable read. Still, this was not her best. In fact, this is my least favorite so far out of her novels. This is because this story was not as well written as the others.  The writing was very lazy. There was too much telling and not enough showing. The story did not draw me in or captivate me. The story was also very repetitive. I also thought that there was too much backstory that did not really add much to the plot or the characters as a whole. The setting was very atmospheric, but it was not enough for me personally to save it. Another thing I liked about the novel was that Drew Merriken, the hero in An Inquiry Into Love and Death makes an appearance.The Other Side of Midnight will appeal to newcomers as well as fans of Maisie Dobbs, A Duty to the Dead, and The Uninvited. However for fans of Simone St. James, this is a bit disappointing and not her best work.

Rating: 2½ out of 5 stars

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