- The Life and Death Parade by Eliza Wass
ISBN 978-1-4847-3252-6 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 7-10
Since her mother died, Kitty has been living at Bramley Castle, housed there because her mother worked at the castle and Kitty is the beloved girlfriend of Nikki, Lord Bramley’s son. When Nikki learns from a psychic that he has no future, he takes the prediction as seriously as Kitty feared he would, and within a few short weeks of increasingly bizarre behavior, he dies by his own hand. This is all revealed in retrospect, as it is now a year later, and Kitty is determined to find the traveling psychic’s canal boat and confront her. What she finds instead is a charismatic charlatan named Roan, who convinces her that he can help the family through the depression that has debilitated them since Nikki’s death. Roan delivers on his promise, but as Kitty learns more about the group of psychics and con artists he travels with, she questions how much is a clever ruse and how much might genuinely be real in Roan’s purported ability to speak with spirits and resurrect the dead. Set in contemporary England, this haunting tale has the atmospherics of Yovanoff’s The Replacement (BCCB 9/10), blending mysticism, danger, and a love that lasts beyond death. Eerie before erupting into full-blown creeps, this gothic mystery has a strong, pragmatic heroine at its core, but even she isn’t immune to the hope offered by belief gone dangerously wrong.