In Armstrong’s assured seventh Otherworld paranormal romance, her first in hardcover (after Broken), pretty Jaime Vegas, a 44-year-old necromancer who can reanimate the dead, faces her biggest career challenge yet-freeing the trapped ghosts of six murdered children. Thankfully, Jeremy Danvers, Jaime’s hunky and very Alpha werewolf boyfriend, tags along for this hair-raising ride. Jaime, who has made a living onstage and off by her ghost-whispering skills, is in L.A. as one of three celebrity mediums participating in Death of Innocence, a TV special that hopes “to raise the ghost of Marilyn Monroe,” but instead uncovers a serial-killing cult intent on man-made black magic. Seeking justice for the lost children and punishing the dark arts practitioners don’t prevent Jaime and Jeremy from finding time for love. Armstrong deftly juggles such creatures as werewolves, witches, demons and ghosts with real-life issues. The only disappointment? Marilyn’s ghost never shows.
Fortysomething Jaime Vegas is a sexy, redheaded celebrity medium on the threshold of a spiritualist’s dream: her own TV show. She is one of three professional psychics brought to a haunted site for a reality TV show and charged with raising the ghost of Marilyn Monroe. Obviously, this is Jaime’s shot at stardom. Her costars are drawling, up-and-coming starlet medium Angelique and UK satanic specialist Bradford Grady, and watching the three one-up each other as they jockey for prime position, even during a warm-up seance, is good show-biz comedy. Jaime knows and uses a psychic’s two primary tools, knowledge (prior facts) and statistical probability, but everything depends on her authentic, natural necromantic gifts. But when she finds spirits in the site’s garden with whom she cannot commune despite her superpowerful silver ring, she fears she’s out of her league (she’s not wrong) and flies to Portland for help. Paranormal and show-business power struggles make for hard-to-put-down entertainment.