I'll admit I snagged this one mostly on the strength of the author's name. I've already read previous books by Rysa Walker, and very much enjoyed them. From the blurb it sounds potentially interesting, but not particularly original. But I trusted the author, and I'm glad I did.
Anna Morgan is a seventeen year old who is jaded by the foster care system. She also has the ability to communicate with the dead. However in this story her communication is facilitated by a dead person attaching him/herself to Anna inside her mind. She calls them "hitchers". And typically it's one at a time.
At the beginning of the story Anna is playing host to Molly, a young girl who had been murdered and wants Anna to communicate with Molly's grandfather, a retired police officer, in order to provide him with information that will hopefully catch her killer.
But there's more going on here than a simple murder mystery. Molly's murderer was tied to a much larger scheme involving kidnapping and experiments. And Anna's contact with Molly's grandfather brings her, and her gift, to the attention of this nefarious group.
Anna, along with her younger former foster brother Deo, are both in danger. Along the way they do have some allies, including Anna's therapist and Molly's grandfather.
I'll admit the basic plot isn't terribly original, although I did really like how Anna's gift was handled and the way it worked. But it's much better and more engaging that it may sound. What takes what might have been well-worn ground in another's hands and turns it into an interesting story is Ms. Walker's skill in writing a well paced story with believable characters and likable protagonists.
And while there are occasional hints of attraction between Anna and another character, it remains infrequent and very slow burn. There's no insta-love or teen angsty romance here. Something I very much appreciated.