Karma Marx exorcises haunted houses. She can banish troublesome spirits and entities, but what she really wants to get rid of is her sleazy realtor husband. So she makes him a deal – she will exorcise one last home for him in return for a divorce. But things don’t go according to plan, and soon her husband winds up dead.
I have to be honest, I don’t know what I’m thinking when I picked up this book. I just thought I’d give this a try since it’s Katie MacAlister writing as Kate Marsh and I happen to like some of her books even those with paranormal stuff going on.
It is about Karma Marx, an exterminator, but not of pest or bugs. She exterminates paranormal entities and sending them to another world or dimension. Most of the time though, she keeps the creatures and takes them home to make sure they’ll not wreak havoc. In return, the entities tried to be of help to Karma. Her sorry excuse for a husband, Spider, though was smart enough to take advantage of her “ability”. He’s asking her to “clean” a house he just acquired and as much as she doesn’t want to help him, it is finally her chance to get rid of him as he agreed to a divorce. But it will only happen if she will do what he asked her to do. Only, she finds out that the house was owned by a poltergeist named Adam, and Spider, a real estate agent, got the house by pulling a trick on him.
It also happens that Adam, like Karma, is housing some harmless creatures in his house. She can’t possibly banish those nice entities and feel good about herself after. Besides, Adam won’t let her do it, either, so he cast some sort of sealing spell on the house. Karma, together with other humans and paranormal entities, have to spend the next 12 hours trying to reach a compromise. But then, Spider turns up dead. One of them is the killer, and Karma is determined to find out who among those inside the house is the culprit.
I haven’t read a Katie MacAlister’s paranormal book in a long time, so I was struggling on the first few chapters of this one. All the paranormal entities got me so confused and overwhelmed. I don’t mind reading about ghosts and spirits but this one is just too much for me to follow. Aside from ghosts, there’s imp, poltergeist, and unicorn! Really! Still, I’m not the type to give up on a book that easily. So, read on, I did. Good thing, too, because once it finally picks up, the book reveals more about Karma, Spider and the other people(?) and entities inside the house. After Spider’s death, the investigation headed by Adam and Karma commence and it is what got me going. I want to know, too, who killed him. But every one of them seems to have a valid alibi which makes it hard to know who really is the killer. It wasn’t revealed until the end, and it came as a surprise upon learning who really did it. That is what really makes me like the book in the first place, how Miss MacAlister managed to make a good mystery story in such a unique premise. The twist and turn will keep the reader guessing as to what really happened.
It can be really confusing with a lot of characters and entities to follow but it still managed to deliver the story quite well in the end. It is the first book of a series but I gathered there is no subsequent book after. But since they re-release it, maybe we can expect the second book soon. I’m glad it turned out okay. Not as funny or sexy as the other Katie MacAlister’s books I’ve read but still a nice paranormal mystery story.
(*Photos and Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)
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