Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: For the last six months, Detective James Ralston has worked the nightshift as security for the Pacific Blue Hotel, and every night at 2 a.m. his rounds lead him to the radio room where the handsome and mysterious Franklin Fairchild sits listening to waltzes as old as the hotel itself. James is drawn to Franklin, but Franklin is a man at the end of his rope, and James has no intention of getting caught up in whatever trouble Franklin is in. A heated encounter late one night sends James down a disturbing path and has him questioning everything around him, including his very sanity.
Review: This short and melancholy little tale was both eery and bittersweet, with gorgeously descriptive prose that told a story within a story about a man who’d lost his way and of the path that opened before him. I loved the incorporation of the paranormal into the storyline–and it was so well done that I was able to take the required leap at the end seamlessly.
James Ralston is a down on his luck private detective making extra money working the nightshift at an old hotel in the city. He’s doing security, and there’s not a lot to see at that time of night. It should be an easy job, but he’s haunted by his past in the war and the friends he’d left behind. He just can’t get past it. While working one night, he meets a handsome stranger staying at the hotel. Unable to resist the temptation the stranger offers, James becomes ensnared in the shadows of a history that’s doomed to repeat itself.
With him as an unwitting key player.
I really loved the character development and the way the story unfolded–but the reward at the end only comes if you truly pay careful attention to all the elements. It reminded me of the era of the movie Titanic, with its lush architecture and old world elegance. Cochet masters the short story as she spins a narrative that encapsulates so much more than words into the nuanced writing of this ghostly tale. Read it for the spare beauty–its heartbreaking yet happily ever after ending will keep you thinking about it for days.