Narrator: Jake Urry
Series: The Ulrich Files #3
Published by Ambrose Ibsen on 6 April 2017
Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Modern Detective, Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal
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"Ghosts don't simply latch onto places, investigator. People can become haunted, too."
A missing person. A city plunged into unforgiving winter. A dangerous spirit.
Though enjoying an increase in business following his last case, life isn't all roses for private investigator Harlan Ulrich. His newest job, another missing person's case, is unlike any other he's ever taken on.
Local businessman Michael Poole hires Ulrich to find his estranged daughter.
She's been dead for a decade.
Join Ulrich on a trip into the darkness, into the frostbitten underworld, as he seeks out a hateful phantom with only a cat and a thermos of good coffee on his side.
Darkside Blues is the third novel in the Ulrich Files series by Ambrose Ibsen.
©2017 Ambrose Ibsen (P)2017 Ambrose Ibsen
Note: Even though this is Book 3 in the series, it works fine as a stand alone novel.
Following upon his success with the Exeter House mystery, Harlan Ulrich’s private investigation business has been doing quite well. He’s got a decent apartment, an admirable collection of fancy coffees, and a cat. Now he’s been hired to find yet another missing person. However, there’s more than one twist with this one. The missing person isn’t really missing but she’s not alive either.
I do believe this is my favorite of this series so far. Harlan Ulrich is truly becoming a ghost talker. He’s got his paranormal experiences of the past two books to draw on, so with this one he starts off on firmer ground, knowing some of the rules of engagement right from the start.
And we have Sparkles! Well, he was renamed by Harlan. His new name is Beardsley though I don’t think the cat really cares what Harlan calls him as long as there is food in his dish. Beardsley has a thing for coffee too and that mainly involves batting the beans about the apartment once he’s torn a hole in the bag.
Michael Poole has hired Harlan to approach his estranged daughter, Vivian. He says he’s seen her three times in an old neighborhood they used to live in when she was a teenager. However, he can’t bring himself to approach her and needs an intermediary. He’s chosen Harlan to be that man. However, Harlan discovers right away that Vivian died 10 years ago. As he continues to dig into the case, he finds other things that don’t match what Michael told him. Someone is lying. It becomes a tangled web as Harlan tracks down the ex-wife (Laguerre) and speaks with the stepmother (Meredith).
Let’s not forget the apparition that appears to be the teen-aged Vivian. However, she’s walking about with a limp. In life, she was wheelchair bound. Harlan has to unravel the truth about her apparent suicide. As Harlan makes more attempts to communicate with her, she responds in turn. However, her attempts of communication are rather disturbing to both Harlan and Beardsley.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was getting to know more about Harlan. He’s a teetotaler and his father was an alcoholic. This tale provides more glimpses into his past and that also provides a starting place for Vivian to communicate with him.
I really wasn’t sure where the author was going to take me with this one. I liked that I couldn’t guess major plot points right away. The story’s ending hung on a tipping point right up to the end. Will this character go this way or that, will it end in justice or vengeance, will Harlan have nightmares for months or sleep like a man after a fulfilling day’s work? I found the ending to be satisfying and I expect Harlan can live with the horrors he’s seen knowing he helped where he could.
I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobook Worm.
The Narration: Jake Urry continues to be great as Harlan Ulrich. His British accent continues to diminish with each book as he smooths out his American accent. Harlan sounds like a proper gent who happens to live in Toledo, Ohio. I liked his spooky voice for Vivian, who has a messed up face. Urry also added in a few sound effects here and there that worked quite well. I especially enjoyed the wind sounds in the background of some of the final scenes of the book.
This review first appeared on Dab of Darkness.
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