Go Ask the Dead
by Frank Tropea
ReadersMagnet, LLC

"Always remember, love is stronger than evil, fear, and hate."

The ghosts of Confederate soldiers are the paranormal paramours in this fast-paced romance about supernatural sexual pairings. Tropea’s use of dead Civil War lotharios is not virgin territory. Baker Lawley went there successfully in The Battle Hymn Blues, but he twisted the narrative by outing his battlefield phantoms as hallucinations. This author avoids such a move, never betraying readers who want to believe or deconstructing his magical universe.

Tropea’s mortal heroine is Amanda “Mandy” Mannon, a troubled fifteen-year-old whose psychic powers are developing alongside her womanly curves. She’s the Old Virginia daughter of an unknown father and a vanished, neglectful, and promiscuous mother. After Amanda is introduced to the ghost of William, a handsome officer slain at Gettysburg, they become lovers. When Amanda’s prudish guardian gets wind of the unnatural tryst, she goes berserk, causing an estrangement between herself and her adolescent charge. Shortly thereafter, Mandy becomes pregnant, marries the presumed father, and quickly divorces him. Later, one dead War of Secession lover morphs into a platoon of them, causing Amanda’s descent into near-madness. That’s when the author steps in to lend a hand, giving his leading lady a much better ending than she deserves.

While deceased historical sweethearts are nothing new, these also aren’t the clichéd angel, devil, shifter, vampire, and zombie Casanovas typically found in this genre either. Tropea weaves his tale enchantingly, while also making the supernatural shenanigans—and the characters who propel them—feasible and frequently terrifying. Readers who crave a walk on the wild, spectral side may find this mad, mystic romp to be their cup of paranormal romance tea.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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