Murder mystery has paranormal twists

By: 
Jan Jones
Columnist

I was expecting something paranormal when I selected “Dead Woman’s Pond” by Elle E. Ire, but I got a whole lot more. (Warning: If you can’t deal with same-sex relationships you might not like this book.) If you can look beyond the sexual preferences of the protagonists, you’ll find a pretty compelling plot with a paranormal twist.

Flynn Dalton realized that she was “different” at her grandmother’s funeral. While standing near the casket, Flynn saw and spoke with her late grandmother. When the woman walked through the wall and disappeared, Flynn fainted. The 9-year-old never told anyone about the encounter and endured years of counseling due to the trauma.

Now in her mid-20s, Flynn has grown up in every way. She is now a tall, muscular woman with many skills. For years, she supported herself working as an excellent carpenter. When the housing boom in Florida stumbled, she lost her steady job, so now she is living paycheck to paycheck working on an apartment complex just outside of the wealthy enclave of Festivity, Florida.

She has long accepted her lesbian status and earned the respect of most of her fellow workers. A little over a year ago, Flynn was dumped by her girlfriend, Kate. Kate said it had been fun but decided to marry her boyfriend, Max. Within months, Kate’s car crashed through a stone wall at Dead Man’s Pond and she drowned.

The tragic accident rattled Flynn, but she moved on and fell head over heels in love with a well-known psychic named Genesis. The two are fast becoming an item. One of Flynn’s other skills is bowling, and she makes extra cash hustling unsuspecting opponents at Kissimmee Lanes.

One night, Flynn is driving home in her old but sturdy truck when the brakes fail. She nearly ends up in the lake but manages to crank the wheel into a huge planter instead. Suddenly, Flynn feels herself drawn toward the lake. Luckily, she is stopped by a local cop.

From that point on her life takes on a frightening trajectory. She’s always refused Gen’s offer of a “reading” but accepts her insights and warnings about the lake wanting her.

Long story short – Kate’s wealthy husband was enraged when he discovered his wife wants a divorce so she could go back to her lover, Flynn. He paid Leopold, a psychic aligned with dark forces, to create a bad luck medallion to attach to Kate’s car, but Max cursed the medallion and the car plunged into the lake instead of having an accident. Ever since then, the medallion has lured more women to their deaths, and now Max hopes Flynn will be next.

Flynn and Gen are committed to one another, but stubborn independence gets in the way and nearly costs Flynn her life. Knowing about Max and the medallion, Gen makes a deal with Leopold. He will dive with Flynn to retrieve the cursed item so it can be neutralized, but Leopold double crosses them.

Flynn experiences a wild out-of-body event that saves Gen and her brother, Chris. As Gen rushes to Flynn’s physical body, Flynn’s essence finds and kills Max. It will take all of Gen’s formidable skill to save Flynn by transferring life from Leopold to her beloved Flynn. We don’t know the follow-up for the mess, but book two promises to continue the duo’s relationship and paranormal adventures.

I love discovering plot twists and turns. Your public library can supply all the storylines imaginable. Drop by this week and check it all out.

AT A GLANCE

Book: Dead Woman’s Pond (Nearly Departed, Book 1)

Author: Elle E. Ire

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Year published: 2021

Number of pages: 412