A Weapon of Opportunity is a whimsical, entertaining story with good characters and a quick paced mystery. In some ways the story is similar to others – the ghost lover and detective are reminiscent of Drew Zachary’s series and the astral projection is eerily close to a current horror movie Insidious. Despite those reminders this story remains interesting and enjoyable to read from start to finish. I heard somewhere this is the start of a series and if so, then definitely one to watch.
The plot starts with Hunter, a detective, working on a series of murders. Hunter’s dead partner David is a ghost but still integral to helping Hunter solve cases. Together the two are investigating a new murder with no clues and no witness. Yet a ghost at the scene tells David that a boy, a live boy, saw the killing. Trying to piece together the various elements, which sound more and more ridiculous each time, Hunter and David race to stop a serial killer while trying to protect a little boy. At the same time their emotions for each other bubble to the surface and won’t be denied or ignored.
In many ways the plot is very out there and requires a good suspension of disbelief. Each new element introduced is more outrageous and reaching than the last but the skillful writing keeps the reader engaged and wanting to believe. So much so that most readers shouldn’t even be bothered by this. The story slowly increases the supernatural content at a very good pace that doesn’t overwhelm readers nor tax their willingness to believe. Instead it feels like a natural, albeit stretching, progression. Many of the elements are familiar as I’ve said but they’re combined in a way that makes the story interesting all on its own.
Part of the reason is the good characterization. Told in alternating third person perspective, Hunter and David come across as well developed and have a push/pull dynamic that feels very classic to partnerships. David being dead actually adds a nice element of humor and irony to the situation as the stoic Hunter is forced to deal with things in a different way. Their romance is surprisingly well crafted and engaging. I wasn’t sure how a ghost and a human would get it on but they not only do, it’s incorporated to the story very well so the build up makes sense and works. The additional character of Cooper, the young boy, is wonderful and his charm comes across in every scene. That youthful enthusiasm and innocence is a very good foil to the darkness of the serial killer. Again this may feel familiar to readers but the writing keeps the story interesting.
The resolution is very nice and ends the story well, something that easily could have ruined the story but told from David’s perspective this adds a nice layer of texture to the setting. A Weapon of Opportunity easily stands on its own but if it’s the start of a series then I’m very intrigued to see where the characters go from here. The problems inherent in having a ghostly lover make for interesting and often comedic situations so there’s definitely more material if the author decides to continue. In some ways the writing is very typical of Kelly and there’s a smooth polish and ease of reading that compliment the story. The charm and humor will please and satisfy readers so this is an easy story to recommend.