Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Review: When the Past Haunts You

 When the Past Haunts You by L.C. Hayden is the latest in her Harry Bronson Mysteries series. Despite the word "haunts" in the title, there aren't any ghosts in this story. Just memories, regrets, and pain, both emotional and physical, for Harry Bronson. His sister, whom he hasn't seen or spoken to in years is killed and dies in his arms.

Bronson, although retired from police work, sets out to find out who killed her. In the process, he untangles her past and comes to regret their falling out. His remorse has to be set aside, though, while he digs deep into her past and the years they were apart.

I've never read a Bronson mystery, but I quickly felt comfortable with Harry. By laying bare the life and missteps of his sister, we also see his regrets and failings. I quickly eased into the story and followed him on his quest and shared in his discoveries.

As happens in real life, Harry sometimes breaks the rules and he drags in his friends to help. And as in real life, he doesn’t always come out on top and he doesn't know everything. But like the rest of us, he picks himself up and he figures out what has to be done.

While he can't go back and save his sister's life, in the end, he'll have to save his own life.

When the Past Haunts You moves quickly. There's always action and discoveries. And while I was not too worried about Harry dying (it is a series, after all), I was worried for those around him since Bronson is up against some ruthless foes.


Barnes and Noble  

Powell's Books  

I give When the Past Haunts You a rating of Hel-of-a-Character.
Disclaimer: I know L. C. Hayden from long ago. I met her through Sisters in Crime. I've not seen her in years, though. She's quite active in the writing community. If I remember right, she, at some point, taught writing classes on cruises. Now that just sounds like a mighty fine gig to me. You get to go on a cruise AND talk about writing. I'd want to do that. Well, maybe not so much now with all the craziness with cruises lately. Seems like you're likely to either tip over or drift powerless in the middle of the ocean or get boarded by pirates. Maybe a cruise down or up the Mississippi. 'Course a few years ago, the Mississippi flooded. That wouldn't be much fun. You could end up like a dry docked Noah's Ark in somebody's back yard. Maybe I'll drop this idea of teaching on a cruise ship. I'd probably end up with sea sickness, anyway. Wait a minute, what was I supposed to be saying? Oh yeah. Disclaimer. Dis is what I claim…I know L.C. She probably doesn't remember me, but I’m sure I'm on her list of co-teachers for the next cruise she goes on.


  1. This sounds like a nice comfortable evening's curl up entertainment.

    I'll have to check it out. I'm also rather fond of Sisters in Crime--several good friends belong to the group.


  2. Cruise? Can I go too?
    That sounds like a good story - discovering self while uncovering past mysteries.

  3. Helen, you could dress as a mermaid while teaching on the cruise!

  4. Really hard to stand in the mermaid tail. Have to lie in a big clam shell!

  5. sounds like a fun read and your disclaimer was hilarious. I thought you were on vacation...well, reading is a vacation, so that's okay. Have fun!

  6. Helen, I definitely remember you even though it's been a long time. You're absolutely unforgettable!
    Thanks for the review and the disclaimer was an added bonus!
    I'm still in the Author in Residence for cruise lines. In fact, I just got back from a Panama Canal cruise (Princess Cruise Lines.) Part of my contract says I can take someone with me for free. Maybe you next time? So far, it's always been my hubby. Aye! But fun.
    I've also thought about taking my character, Harry Bronson. I really like him. Is there something wrong with me?

  7. L.C., taking Harry sounds like the beginnings of a whole new book!


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