When Olympic Three Day Event Gold Medalist Juliet Jermaine's prize horse Gothic is killed, along with its young stable-hand rider, in an apparent road rage incident, the search is on to find the killer. Was Juliet the target of the attack or was it indeed just a simple case of someone losing their rag over horses riding on the roadway?
Enter psychic detective, Rosetta Barrett, who although working for the British police is actually, also a member of a top-secret research foundation that studies all sorts of paranormal, extraterrestrial and psychic phenomenon, world-wide. Rosetta is convinced that their is a long-past karmic link to this murder and believes she can unravel the mystery that happened so long ago to an Apache Indian, whose ripple effect is still acting on our world in 2021.
What follows is a classic "whodunit" mystery that delves into all things wiccan, psychic, paranormal and extraterrestrial, all wrapped around the exclusive and wealthy world of three-day eventing, along with the rogues that inhabit the world of horse breeding.
J.J. Hughes has produced an incredibly fast-paced and exciting debut novel that not only offers mystery and mayhem, but also give the reader pause to think about values, about relationships and about the impact of karma on our individual lives. What I particularly liked about this book is that it didn't allow the writer's obvious passion for these esoteric topics to impact too greatly, on the process of telling a good story. There is plenty of romance and no small degree of twists and turns to keep the most ardent romantic mystery reader engaged, but the addition of the psychic detective Barrett and her fascinating organisation, EPIS, lifts the story to another level and engages not only our imaginations, but our thinking brains as well. I doubt one can give a higher accolade to the writer than to say she has scored a bulls-eye on both aspects of this story.
For me, the number one criteria in rating a story that is clearly intended to be part of a series, is - will I read the sequel? With Spirit of Prophecy the answer is a resounding yes. In fact I'm on tenterhooks waiting for the sequel to come out. The characters she has created are fascinating and there are so many questions about Barrett's alter-ego, as a psychic investigator that beg to be answered.
Hughes has written a winner for her first novel and has ridden a faultless, clear round, in my opinion. This is clearly a new author to follow, with interest.