Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Dead and Lost
SERIES: L.A. Paranormal #4
AUTHOR: Lou Harper
PUBLISHER: Harper Books
LENGTH: 117 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 12, 2016
Not all bodies want to remain buried.
Leander Thorne makes his living as a psychic pet detective and moonlights as an unofficial police consultant. In his latter role he has agreed to help Detective Cora Bennet from the LAPD with a decades-old murder. Unfortunately, the victims bones refuse to talk to him.
To complicate things, Leander’s anxiety-prone boyfriend Jon has started sleepwalking again. Since Jon has perfected taciturnity into an art form it’ll take all of Leander’s patience and tenacity to make him open up.
When Leander and Jon start digging into the old murder case the mystery grows thicker at every turn. Leander’s knack for finding lost things and buried secrets lead them into the hills above a posh LA suburb. However, those hills hide more than just mountain lions and rattlesnakes. If they are not careful trouble will find them.
Dead and Lost, the 4th story (and the 3rd book–since stories 1 & 2 appear together in Dead in L.A.) in the L.A. Paranormal series, takes place a few months after the closing of Dead in the Desert. At the request of Detective Cora Bennet, Leander Thorne is trying to figure out who might have killed the young child found in the desert in the previous book. But his gift seems to be on the fritz–or there just wasn’t enough there to begin with–because he is getting almost nothing from the child’s bones. Undaunted and still curious, Lea (rhymes with tea) convinces his boyfriend Jon to help him do a little off-the-book detecting. Not that he is supposed to be doing any on-the-book detecting either. In fact, everyone–except maybe Lea himself–would rather he leave the detecting to, well, the detectives. Especially when his trail leads him to more dead bodies and a mystery that had every intention on staying mysterious–and over Lea’s dead body if necessary.
I’m not entirely sure how it was possible I missed the release of this book back in September of 2016. This is one of my favorite series by Lou Harper (though, that is a very tight race) and I wasn’t even aware that there was going to be another book after Dead in the Desert. I’m very glad I got the chance to read and review it, though.
Unlike the other books in this series, where the pov rest solely with Jon, this book is told from the perspective of Lea. It was really cool to finally see his side of things. Having only seen Lea as Jon sees Lea (or, I guess, Andy as Jon calls him), we have been left with a somewhat unfinished picture of who this book-obsessed psychic really is. We might not get the whole picture here, but we get a better idea of what kind of man Lea is when Jon isn’t around. Plus we also get to see Jon through Lea’s eyes, and boy that is fun. And I so giggled every time he referred to Jon as Grumpy Bear. Seeing the more playful side of their relationship was kinda cool and really added to the overall sense of who they were together as well as apart. I might miss Jon’s narrative voice a little, but Lea did a stand up job.
I also loved the mystery in this book. It was a bit more cohesive here than in the previous stories–where it seemed like Jon and Lea were just floating along with events instead of pushing the story themselves–and the change really helped in the overall feel of the story. The whodunnit was a bit simple, but the overall case and the progression through it was a real blast to read. The secondary characters really worked well in their parts as well.
Hopefully this is not the last in the series because there is so much more I want to know about these two. As it stands, though, this book (and the entire series to date) is a favorite part of my reread pile. Go forth and read it, my peoples, I think you’ll really enjoy it.