Strange Country by Deborah Coates

Wide Open, Book 3

Synopsis: In Strange Country, Hallie is settling into life in Taylor County, South Dakota. She’s survived a trip to the underworld and she has a ranch to run, and she’s waiting, not very patiently, for the other shoe to drop. Death will return. He always does. And Hallie knows that this time could be the final meeting she dreads.

Meanwhile, deputy Boyd Davies gets a late night call to investigate a prowler. An hour later, a woman is dead, shot and killed by a bullet from a high-powered rifle. It soon becomes clear that the killing is far from over, that ever small town has its secrets, and that Taylor County’s secrets are stranger than most.

Coming home isn’t easy. When you combine your home coming with harbingers, ghosts, strange magic and Death, it can be downright deadly.

Review: I did not know anything about the series before reading this third and final volume. It is often easier to get into paranormal thrillers without looking at the order of the books than with fantasy novels. And yes, this is actually the case here! Even if we continue a story already begun earlier, I think it is not very complicated to easily get into the volume. But, even if it’s true that some events are recalled, as always I think it would be easier for the reader to try the first and second book before.

So we find our heroes Hallie and Boyd in the middle of a story that will completely mess up their lives. Indeed, while Boyd is patroling one night, he receives a call but while he doesn’t see anything suspicious at the young woman’s house, she finds herself shot. A race against the clock will begin for them as they try to understand what happened to stop the murderer before he starts again. But everyone seems to keep secrets, which does not help the investigation a bit in fact. If we also add ghosts, magic stones, a rather strange power, and Death, we have many things to do! Yes, you read right, even Death! Because it seems that he wants Hallie to take his place, even if she is not really of that opinion. Our two heroes have to team up to find out what is happening, trying to know if the supernatural world has an impact to the case or not. But in addition to this investigation, we also follow the stories of the secondary characters who will have a great impact throughout the chapters.

The author in this novel mixes many things and I admit that I was surprised by some aspects, including the late revelations as the identity of the culprit that I did not expect at all. The mixture of fantasy and thriller is very well done, even if it is true that I am still full of questions about these stones with extraordinary powers. Hallie and Boyd face many problems, although some join, others must be taken care separately. Their relationship seems rather odd but it is true and it was always interesting to see them together, trying to show what they feel without actually managing to do it. There is no romance in this book if that’s what you want, but a couple who is trying to support the other in a rather clumsy way and who is trying to move forward despite the obstacles.

The ideas found here are really interesting, but it’s true that some things are a little fuzzy for me. However, it is impossible for me to tell if it’s because I have not read the first volumes or if this is normal. In any case I had a good time with the story and I was curious to witness the resolution of the investigation and to uncover all the secrets!

3-5

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17 thoughts on “Strange Country by Deborah Coates

  1. It’s encouraging to know you can read this without having read the first two books. But I’ve always known if I were to tackle this series I will probably start from scratch. I see the first two books and they don’t look too long either! Anyway, glad you had a good time with this, and I think you’re right, you might have had an even more positive experience if you’ve read the previous installments. I’ve had my eye on these books for a long time.

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