- Author: J R Rain
- Performed by Peter Berkrot
- Released: October 2013 by Brilliance Audio
- Category: Paranormal
James Blakely is a good man who has done some bad things in his time. So when he’s viciously gunned down in his sleep, he’s faced with a choice: Proceed immediately to an afterlife of eternal damnation or haunt the world of the living in search of redemption – and one last shot at heaven. Now, little more than a flickering shade of the man he was, James spends his days seeking solace from the loved ones he left behind – even as he works furiously to unravel the mystery of his murder. Solving the crime and saving his soul will force James to confront the darkest secrets in his own past. With his memories fading and his ghost body disintegrating, time is running out for him to save himself and leave this earthly plane. The fires of hell are rising, but will they purify James Blakely’s tormented soul – or consume it?
I was caught up in this story immediately. I hadn’t read J R Rain before but the storyline and concept intrigued me.
The story is told from the perspective of James who was murdered and is now a ghost. He knows he did something bad but has no idea why he was murdered and feels he has to find out who and why before the memories of his life and who he is fade away completely. He has help from a medium, Pauline, who can see and communicate with him.
James needs to work through some things and make amends for others before he feels able to ‘move on’ and he is desperate at the thought of leaving his daughter.
There’s quite a bit of religious theory/belief woven into the story but not in a heavy, preachy kind of way, it is mainly focused on the protagonist’s wish for atonement and, as he sees it, to save his soul.
The writing is excellent and brings up all sorts of questions about life after death, how people interact with each other and the consequences of actions.
It’s a touching and emotional story, very good ending and the last few chapters were quite tear jerky.
The audio was very good, for me Peter Berkrot can be a little hit and miss, as if sometimes he doesn’t really connect with the story, but he seemed invested in this book and so it was a great job and very enjoyable.
Very interesting premise on what could be an idea of the afterlife. Paranormal stories appeal to me on a lot of levels, they can be quite thought-provoking and test some staple religious beliefs. How do you explain away that dejà vu moment, the feeling you’ve been somewhere before, that shivery hair-raising feeling. Who knows what’s out there!