by Wendy Wang
Series: Witches of Palmetto Point, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal, Thriller
Final Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
All Charlie Payne wants is to lead a normal life and to be a good mom. But Charlie’s not exactly normal. She’s from a long line of witches and she can see the dead.
Susan Tate has inherited a beautiful old southern mansion on the coast. Unfortunately, the property came with a million necessary repairs. And ghosts.
When Charlie meets Susan, the woman is desperate for help. Taking on a spirit who doesn’t want to see the light can be dangerous but ignoring it? Ignoring the dead can get you killed.
First Sentence: Charlie Payne picked up the empty file folder and fanned herself.
I have always loved a good ghost story, which is what initially attracted my attention to Haunting Charlie as I was browsing my free trial of Amazon Prime Reads. The story follows Charlie Payne, a newly divorced mother trying to adjust and start over. Charlie is a medium/clairvoyant, but she typically tries to ignore her abilities, as it ended up being the main contributing factor to her divorce.
Charlie comes from a family of witches, though this first book in the series seems to only casually mention the fact. One of her sisters connects her with a client, Susan Tate, who is having issues with paranormal activity at her old family home, which she has just inherited. It turns out her ancestor was hanged at the home after abducting, raping and killing several women.
Generations down the family line later, he is still at it, connecting himself to different men to do his bidding for him. I believe that is my favorite part of the book, the fact that these murders are carrying on from time period to time period— all the murderers being pulled as a puppet on strings by the unseen mastermind—a ghost.
No doubt this ghost is a nasty one, and as we see his past crimes, as well as the ones that he is committing in the present day, we wonder just how possible it might be in everyday life for a spirit to have that sort of influence on a living person. Is there something more to schizophrenia than being just a mental disorder? Most likely not, but it’s fun (and scary at the same time) to imagine the possibility of supernatural influence.
I mean, if a murderer is caught and executed in real life, but continues to kill centuries after his death through finding a living host— how do you stop something like that? How is the killer ever truly brought to justice if not even death can stop him? That question is answered by the end of the book, but I won’t give it away.
Charlie’s client happens to have a son who works in Law Enforcement. He is very skeptical of Charlie and begins to investigate her in hopes of proving that she is a con-artist trying to swindle money from his mother. He’s an interesting adversary, but I would have liked to have seen a little more resistance before he started doubting what he his beliefs or lack thereof.
Charlie’s sisters are fun and likable, but not really a main focus of the book. I imagine their characters will see more development in the next books in the series. This book, however, focuses on Charlie, and we see some great development from her! But don’t think Charlie is the only person we get to follow on this adventure. There are plenty of characters to cheer for (or worry for).
I enjoyed the fact that the setting is in the Carolinas, which is an area I’m all too familiar with. The author does a great job of setting description and manages to bring the historic area of Charleston to life in both past and present timelines.
My only problem with this book— which wasn’t too big of a deal to me since I don’t consider myself a grammar nazi by any means— was the editing. There were several noticeable errors in the book that required me to stop reading long enough to correct it. Overall, however, the editing errors weren’t so numerous that it took away from my enjoyment of the story.
One more thing I should mention: as an added bonus, if you sign up to follow the author on her webpage, you automatically gain access to a bonus chapter! That was awesome!
In all, great read and looking forward to reading the second book in the series!
“Sometimes spirits hold onto emotions for people and things. It’s one way they bind themselves to this world.”
“I want him to know that I understand about rules and policies. But I also want him to understand that he’s dealing with human beings, not machines, and sometimes it’s more important to be compassionate and to try to understand what your employees are going through.”