Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Book & Audio Review: Stay Dead by Anne Frasier

Stay Dead

Anne Frasier
Narrator: Natalie Ross
Series: Elise Sandburg (Book 2)
Publication: Thomas & Mercer (April 22, 2014); Brilliance Audio (April 22, 2014)
Length: 310 p.; 9 hours and 17 minutes

Description: New York Times bestselling author Anne Frasier takes readers back to her dark, enchanting Savannah--a place as terrifying as it is mesmerizing.

Homicide detective Elise Sandburg is traumatized after her run-in with a madman the press has dubbed "The Organ Thief." As Elise takes refuge in her deceased aunt Anastasia's abandoned plantation to investigate and recover from her ordeal, she begins to question everything--from her dangerous line of work to her complex relationship with her handsome, tortured partner, David Gould. But with a madman on the loose, and her mother's claims to still hear from Aunt Anastasia, she may have more immediate problems on her hands. In Elise's world, where cold hard crime mixes with the local Gullah culture, nothing is ever what it seems, and no one is above suspicion--not even the dead.

My Thoughts: The second Elise Sandburg thriller has Elise trying to recover from being kidnapped, raped and tortured by a madman who is fixated on her and who kills and harvests organs for sale. In Elise's escape, Atticus Tremaine was rendered comatose. He's currently in a hospital under guard.

Elise goes to her aunt Anastasia's plantation to recover and also because her mother calls her and tells her that she had received a phone call from Anastasia. The only problem is that Anatasia is supposed to be dead; her mother attended her funeral. 

At the plantation, Elise encounters a man who claims to be her father Jackson Sweet. Sweet was a noted conjure man who supposedly died years earlier. Strata Luna, noted local witch and madam, even took Elise to see where he was buried in an unmarked grave. This is a hard thing for Elise who has been trying to get away from her heritage in magic. 

Then aunt Anastasia reappears having faked her death in an insurance scam in order to keep her beloved plantation. And Atticus comes out of his coma, escapes from the hospital, begins killing again, and wants to recapture Elise who is the object of his obsession. 

The story was fast-paced and the plot was twisty. Elise is rethinking her life plan and contemplating giving up work for the PD in favor of opening a coffee shop. She is also rethinking her decision to step away from her possible magic. And her relationship with her partner David Gould is also causing stress since it seems to be drifting to a romantic relationship she isn't sure she wants. 

I loved the combination of police work and magic. There was a great cast of intriguing characters and the narrator Natalie Ross did a great job making each of them distinctive. 

Favorite Quote:
"Nobody wants normal."

"Sometimes I think it would be nice."

"Normal is just advertising. Normal is a sales pitch. Normal is fiction. It's not real. What do you think normal is?"
I bought the Kindle and Audible for $1.99 each January 10, 2022. You can buy your copy here.

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