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REVIEW: Rattling Chains – T. Strange

Rattling Chains

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay, Trans FTM

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Ghosts are popping up where they shouldn’t. Harlan, a ghost janitor for the police, suspects there’s a serial killer on the loose—but no one believes him.

Harlan Brand is a medium who was abandoned by his parents at a school for the psychically gifted. He grew up lonely but safe from the ghosts that terrorized his childhood.

But now, at twenty-one, he’s out in the real world. He works as a ghost janitor for the Toronto Police Service, cleaning up after crimes and hauntings in the Greater Toronto Area. Adding to the anxiety of leaving the ghost-warded safety of his school, the cop assigned as his partner seems to hate him, he’s having confusing feelings for a BDSM club owner who brings out his deepest fantasies and ghosts are popping up where they shouldn’t.

Using the ghosts as clues, Harlan begins to suspect there’s a serial killer loose, but no one believes him. Harlan will stop at nothing to discover who—or what—is preying on his city.

Book one in the Bound to the Spirits series

The Review

Harlan Brand was eight when he entered the Centre. His parents could no longer deal with his problem, even with the many visits to psychiatrists. One felt Harlan was in need of the Centre help.

He met with Dr. Cunningham and took a test for mediums, and had no trouble passing it.
Harlan grew to feel safe at the Centre and he didn’t want to be anywhere else. He liked the solitude and learned how to sharpen his skills with the “invisible people”. As time went on, his parents no longer made contact with Harlan, and he got to the point he really no longer cared. The Centre was where Harlan wanted to stay, and maybe even have a future as a teacher there. Most of all, he felt safe there.

Then at twenty-one, Dr. Tom Addison informed Harlan that it was time for him to leave.

Harlan doesn’t feel safe in the chaotic outside world – there’s too much noise, too many people and too many ghosts.

Harlan’s new apartment is warded against ghosts, and he’s now serving as the Toronto Police Service medium. Soon he gets partner, the grouchy C. Hamilton, and some cases to investigate.

One of his cases is at “Rattling Chains,” a BDSM bar, where he meets the owner Charles Moore. But he finds no ghost, and of course, Hamilton is not happy about that. When they get called back to the Rattling Chains again for the ghost, Harlan eventually figures out why he’s not seeing one, and a connection is made between him and Charles.

Then things get even stranger for Harlan. When he and Hamilton are called out for a specific ghost cases and Harlan starts to see additional ghosts that aren’t supposed to be there.

Harlan discovers many new things about himself and his partner, Hamilton. And he finds something very special and appealing in Charles.

All the cases are somewhat dangerous, but soon Harlan, Hamilton and Charles find themselves up against a very powerful ghost that could lead them all to death.

T. Strange is a first time read for me. I was impressed with this new approach in the world of ghosts and mediums. Rattling Chains has a very creative plot and lots of wonderfully descriptive moments in the battle with ghosts. It’s got that creepy, gory feel I love when delving into the world of the paranormal.

For Harlan there are some very emotional moments when he is just a young boy and doesn’t get the love and support from his parents. He’s a great character who starts out a little naive, but there’s a self awareness that gradually grows within him.

Charles is really good for Harlan too. He has a lot of patience with Harlan, and they mesh well together. I like how their relationship grows gradually, and there’s more to build on with these two.

Harlan, Charles and Hamilton all have their vulnerable sides. Even Hamilton, as gruff and grumpy as he is, is terrified when it comes to the ghosts.

Strange brings a whole host of secondary characters from the world of ghosts, too, and Harlan has to deal with the obes who don’t realize they have options and the reluctant ones too.

I highly recommend Rattling Chains, an entertaining, intense paranormal novel with a twist. I hope Strange has more coming for Harlan, Charles and Hamilton in the “Bound To The Spirits” series!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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