Six months have passed since the last Ellerton teenager died, but Darina is still traumatized by the stabbing of her own beloved Phoenix. But there's work to be done as Darina must now turn her attention to the shooting of Summer Madison - the beautiful and gifted, singer-song-writer with a heart of gold. It's been nearly a year since the random shooting in a shopping mall caused Summer's meaningless death.
Summer left behind recordings of her wonderful songs and a deep sadness amongst high school friends. Now Darina must act as Summer’s agent to track down the psychotic killer in a clear search for justice. With the sound of Summer's music constantly playing inside Darina's head, recalling the wonderful months when she was alive and performing her first gigs, Darina, Phoenix and the Beautiful Dead are determined to catch the crazed killer. And all the while Darina’s love for Phoenix continues to beat.
If you crave new and usual paranormal stories, but are tired of vamps and werewolves then Eden Maquire’s Beautiful Dead series is a supernatural dream. In her third book, Summer Eden brings back all the mystery and suspense of her previous books as Darina, the Beautiful Dead’s living detective, searches for Summer’s killer before it is too late.
The plot of Summer: Beautiful Dead revolves around Darina, who is very much alive, and very much in love with Phoenix, one of several beautiful dead, who have recently died under unusual circumstances. Each of the beautiful dead have come out of limbo to find out the particulars of their deaths and Darina is a link to the world of the living. Without her help, they cannot find peace. As long as Darina is helping she is allowed to see Phoenix. In this third book, Darina has only a few months to find if the mall shooter, who killed Summer, was a random shooting or aimed to take Summer’s life.
As with Eden’s previous books in this series, Darina’s character is my favorite. She is a head-strong young lady, whose courage and stubbornness often lead her into situations she really should not be in. She also frequently confronts Hunter, the Beautifiul Dead’s overlord and one scary dead guy, but since it is only with Hunter’s blessing that Darina is allowed to see Phoenix, the love of her life, Darina also shows restraint when needed.
I was a bit disappointed that Darina and Phoenix did not have much time together in this book, but the mystery behind Summer’s death took center stage. As Darina searches for the motive of several suspects tied to Summer’s death, Eden proves just how masterfully she can create tension and suspense, and the ending is held more than one surprise.
Summer: Beautiful Dead is a fast paced read that kept me riveted to the page. I love the mystery and the suspense and look forward to Eden’s next book, which promises to be even more suspenseful since Darina’s next investigation will be to find who killed Phoenix. If you have not read Maguire’s series, then you are missing out on a unique paranormal experience.
Source: Received ARC copy for review from publisher