A Barricade in Hell

Written by Jaime Lee Moyer
Review by Terri Baker

This is the second in a series of paranormal mysteries set in San Francisco after the onset of WWI. Delia Martin has the ability to see ghosts; her husband Gabe Ryan, a San Francisco police captain, conducts investigations in the natural world. After Delia lost her parents in the San Francisco earthquake, Delia and Gabe’s first child was stillborn. This loss overshadows her life, convincing her that her ability to communicate with the spirit world is a permanent obstacle to having a family. Perhaps her recent loss is why Delia is haunted by a little girl spirit that defies all of Delia’s attempts to exorcise her from her house and her life.

The ritualistic killing of the son-in-law of the Police Commissioner and the disappearance of a rich heiress are the catalysts that put Gabe to work. A charlatan peace activist and mysterious characters whose auras of evil can only be seen by Delia and her mentor Isadora spike the tension in this supernatural murder mystery. However, there are story lines left unfinished: we never discover what happened to the rich heiress, and Isadora’s mysterious coma-inducing struggle with an evil force is conveniently reversed but never fully explained. Nevertheless, Moyer does a fine job of weaving supernatural elements with natural elements.