Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Nocturnal Haunts, by Amanda S. Green

For the past 15 minutes or so, I've been eating Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Salted Caramel Popcorn, and trying to come up with the perfect words that would tell you what a great read "Nocturnal Haunts" is. The reason I'm having the internal discussion is because it's a novella, and all the rest of works in the series are novels. So I'm dithering.
Here's what I've come up with so far:
The room next to my man cave is the kitchen (because my man cave was originally a formal dining area (parquet floors)), and in the kitchen is my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant foxy praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA. She's doing something mysterious with sweet potatoes and cayenne pepper that involves a lot of utensils and cabinet doors. I can't go into details, because secret recipes.
Anyway, I can quietly go into the kitchen, and kiss her on the back of the neck, and she will lean her head back into my chest, and for that moment, we are in a timeless place of beauty of beauty and love. It lasts for as long as it lasts, and we are happy.
But last summer, we took a shortish vacation. We visited my mom in Macon, and my step-mom in Jacksonville, and we spent time on the beach. We talked and talked in the car on the way down there, and I sang silly songs to her, and for THOSE moments, we were ALSO in a timeless place of beauty and love. It lasted for as long as it lasted, and we were happy.
Doesn't tell you jack squat about "Nocturnal Haunts," does it? But I liked writing it.
Actually, it was the time spent eating the popcorn that gave me the idea to compare sweet brevity with sweet , um, lengthity. Maybe the caramel got to me. But my point is that even though the novella is shorter than the novels, both are delightful experiences while they last.
Anyway, "Nocturnal Haunts" is a nice, tightly-written police procedural. It does involve people who can shape-shift, but the plot requires much more that they be good cops than have the ability to take an animal form. It's got all the action and interaction that marks the rest of Amanda's work, and it's also got a great plot twist, and nasty Hollywood-types.
Get it. Read it. And kiss somebody you love on the back of the neck.

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