I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Second Verse combines great storytelling with intriguing characters and ends with a twist I never saw coming. It's interesting to have a murder mystery town event that coincides with the real mystery. Really, the antagonist couldn't have planned this better to freak out the main characters, which no doubt added to the sick fun.
Lange is new to the town of Shady Springs and moves into an old farmhouse that was the site of a grisly massacre back in the 1930s. An innocent séance intended for fun starts the pursuit of the mystery leading up to the deaths of Ginny and her family. Lange finds Ginny's diary and begins to experience eerie correlations between her life and what's on the pages of the diary. Lange is very predictable in her actions, which at times annoyed me. Perhaps she merely acted in the manner most would, but I kept hoping she'd step outside the 'box' and do something different.
Romantic interest Vaughn pursues this mystery with a single-minded doggedness that would serve him well should he decide to become a detective. Lange and Vaughn have a powerful attraction neither can deny, an attraction might just transcend the world we all know. I had no trouble accepting the strong relationship these two developed so quickly. The paranormal aspect helped, as did the overall terror they'd feel from being stalked.
As I said earlier, the ending threw me for a loop and I have to say, I really liked it. It left me feeling a bit numb, a lot sickened, and completely floored. While I enjoyed the plot, I wish the scenes with Sharon had been expanded a bit. I felt like a very important piece of the puzzle was thrown at the reader, "Oh, here, you need this to understand the end". It was a fascinating part of the story that perhaps Ms. Walkup will explore in later books.
Second Verse is filled with suspense, as well as blood, gore, murder, etc. That said, I recommend it ages 15+ as long as the reader is aware of the subject matter going in. It certainly isn't any worse than the endless horror movies I watch with my family. If you're looking for a suspenseful paranormal story with a strong romantic element and an interesting plot, add this novel to your TBR list.