By Robin Murphy
Sullivan’s Island is an idyllic seaside community with beautiful beaches and historical landmarks that make it a great place to travel but an even greater place to call home. That’s where Dr. Marie Bartek has settled, becoming the community’s veterinarian. However, there is more to the doc than most know. She has gifts that emerged as a child to where she can see spirits; gifts that have been absent for many years but have returned recently for reasons unknown.
One might think in a town as small as hers that having special gifts might make you a pariah; however, on Sullivan’s Island it’s nothing to hide away. As a matter of fact there is a small group of individuals who are interested in beginning a group of sorts; Sullivan Island Paranormal Society or SIPS for short.
As the group begins to organize, a pair of spirits begins desperately trying to communicate with Marie. At first it is difficult to understand what they are saying as her gifts are rusty one might say. However, as their message becomes clearer, she realizes they are trying to communicate with her about a recent rash of murders occurring in her town. With the help of the SIPS team, can Marie stop the next murder from happening? Or is there a possibility that the life she could be saving could be her own?
I began the Marie Bartek series by Robin Murphy for the same reason I begin any book, an author's request. In this case I didn't exactly do as requested simply because I was asked to read the two most recent of the series. However, as I began to read the second in a series of three I felt I needed background information that could only be garnered from reading the first. So, that is how I happened upon Sullivan's Secret. And I’m glad I read the first one because it was a great read.
As far as a storyline goes, I thought Sullivan’s Secret had a slightly abbreviated one. It’s safe to say I felt it was a bit rushed. Everything seemed to be in overdrive, not allowing the story to truly develop. The character development was adequate, but again it was in a full sprint. Even our primary characters weren’t developed as much as l typically like to see. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the confusion caused by the formatting and changes in POV from Marie to our murderer. Although told in 3rd person, the storyline would be following Marie and then without notice would switch to our killer. I have to say it became quite confusing and odd for several paragraphs to realize what actually had happened.
All in all, I would say that Sullivan’s Secret was a great, quick read. Although not as developed as I would like, it was interesting to solve to crime with the SIPS team and the help from Marie’s spirits. I’d definitely recommend this book to not only those who enjoy paranormal pieces, but also those who like a mystery/crime/who-dun-it type of book. As it stands now there are three books that follow this one; Secret of the Big Easy, Federal City’s Secret, and Secret of Coffin Island. All three are part of the Marie Bartek and the SIPS Team series. I’m definitely going to check these out as well and I encourage you to do so too!.