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The Brim Reaper (Style & Error Mystery #3)
Diane Vallere
The Bridge of Deaths - M.C.V. Egan Admittedly, when I was first approached by the author with a request to read and review her book I was hesitant and apprehensive. I do not read paranormal books and she was clear and upfront that there are light paranormal overtones in the form of hypnosis and past lives. The concept is great, her research is outstanding, her historical references are accurate but the content did not suit me or my preferences. I had a difficult time connecting with the book and I found some of the details so overly explicit that it made the reading monotonous but I have to give credit to the author for being so thorough with her information.

The concept of the Bridge of Deaths is brilliant. It is based in reality as the author actually lost her grandfather in a 1939 World War II plane crash. This book is built around her research into that event. She cites each and every research article accurately and clearly which was great for a history fan like myself because it allowed me to confirm her details. I like to confirm details about historical books so that I can feel confident that the information I'm retaining is accurate. The fictional part of this book comes from the additional characters, Bill and Maggie, that the author creates in order to tell the story. Basically, the story is the Bill has recurring nightmares about a plane crash, meets Maggie and is convinced to see a hypnotist to do a past life regression. Ultimately Maggie reaches out to Catalina (the author) and they begin sharing information about the plane crash and the death of Catalina's grandfather.

The written fictional story was really well done. Bill and Maggie are such likable characters and I loved their personalities. They were relatable and interesting. Maggie was less critical to the historical plane crash itself but somehow she was the more fascinating of the two fictional characters. Bill was interesting as well but he was more involved in the slight paranormal activities (hypnosis and past life regression) which I struggled to connect with and understand.

The factual data was accurate, as I said, but it became monotonous to read. In some areas it read more like an archive of data instead of a historical fiction novel. The research is phenomenal and you can tell the author is truly passionate about her research and this event. It's obvious that this is an important project to her and I have to commend her on the time and detail she put into making sure her information was accurate.

I can't fault the concept, the research, the accuracy or the author's passion in this book. I, personally, just had a difficult time emotionally connecting to the book. The historical detail narratives were a bit boring and I sometimes had to force myself to read through them in their entirety and I was unable to really commit to understanding the hypnosis and the past-life regressions. This book definitely has its audience and I am sure that there are people out there who will love it so I am certainly not telling anyone not to read it. It's worth picking up just understand that there will probably be moments when it feels like you're reading historical archives and not a novel.