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Friday, April 24, 2020

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by K.J. Charles

In one word - Redundant. I've read most of this book (DNF at 75%) and NOTHING makes sense about it. It's an assortment of "tales" written in retrospect by the journalist Robert Caldwell containing his adventures and relationship progression with Simon Feximal the ghost hunter from their first encounter to a friendship and partnership (professionally and intimately) spanning 20 years. The book contains 9 "stories" with very little connection between them and though it's obvious Simon and Robert's relationship is evolving it was very hard to feel any romantic vibe from neither man especially from Simon whom I'm not ever sure is actually a human. Honestly I hardly consider this one to be a romance novel.

We don't get explanation to right around ANYTHING in this book. We know Simon Feximal is a ghost hunter, we know he has a way of communicating with ghosts and he isn't there to eliminate them but to free them through their story. But besides that we know nothing about his powers / abilities, where they came from, where HE came from. What is his connection to Miss Theodosia Kay besides growing up like siblings (Why and how they came to live in her house). There are SO MANY unanswered questions in this one and that's without the very strange way this book is compiled. I feel like I'm missing half of the chapters with references to things that happened and weren't specifically told.

This book starts with two tales that were originally published on their own and they entail the first two meeting of Simon and Robert (The Coldwell Ghost & Butterflies). They were interesting enough and there was a progression that I felt could go somewhere but honestly, after around the 4th story I wasn't interested anymore, not in the adventures which were resolved either too quickly or dragged for no reason and especially not the sexual interaction between the men which felt somewhere between mechanic to impresonal. That's mostly Simon's fault and Robert explanations about his character doesn't help.

I started writing my impressions of each of the stories, but truth being told they won't make any sense on their own as they must be read in sequence because of the recurring villains - Dr. Berry and Mr. Parker.

Honestly, as I've read and adored most of KJ's novels this doesn't feel like her AT ALL. This books simply makes NO SENSE to me.

Note - I tried reading Spectred Isle (Green Men, #1) - taking place in the same world as this one, 20+ years later, but it wasn't for me either.

DNF 75%
Read on:
22-23 April 2020

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