Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror #3)
by Karina Halle
Published October 2011
With the Experiment in Terror show finding some success, amateur ghost hunters Perry Palomino and Dex Foray embark on their most terrifying investigation yet. A tiny, fog-shrouded island in the rough strait between British Columbia and Washington State has held a dark secret for decades: It was a former leper colony where over forty souls were left to rot, die and bury each other. Now a functioning campground, Perry and Dex spend an isolated weekend there to investigate potential hauntings but as the duo quickly find out, there is more to fear on D’Arcy Island than just ghosts. The island quickly pits partner against partner, spiraling the pair into madness that serves to destroy their sanity, their relationship and their very lives.
After finishing up the review copies I’d received from the author of the first two books in the Experiment in Terror series, Darkhouse and Red Fox, I immediately hit Amazon and got the rest of the series that was available for my Kindle. I’m still kicking myself for waiting so long to read these books, but then again, I was able to read all six books without having to wait in between installments–and trust me, the romantic tension between Perry and Dex is so killer that I don’t think I could have waited very patiently.
Dex and Perry are off to spend the weekend investigating isolated D’Arcy island, surrounded by dangerous waters and once home to a leper colony where the diseased were left to basically fend for themselves for the rest of their lives. Now home to a campground and nature area, they borrow a boat from one of Dex’s old friend´s and head off for the island–but not before spending a day of normalcy traveling by car to Vancouver from Seattle, and a night that starts out simple enough when Dex and Perry go to a hockey game where Dex receives a phone call that changes his mood for the rest of the trip.
Once on the island and alone together, Perry and Dex find that not only are the ghosts a threat to their sanity, they are also a threat to their physical safety. The lost souls that haunt this place can be be corporeal and inflict real harm, but there are a few spirits that have more nefarious intentions. And as Perry and Dex’s sense of what’s real and fake in their lives starts to unravel, the spirits just might win their quest to claim these two investigators for themselves.
Perry is falling for Dex even more in this book, even though some of his darker past comes to light. There is such a slow burn between these two, especially since Dex is still dating Jenn, but the attraction is definitely there between Dex and Perry. Dex opens up to Perry a bit on the island, and she does the same with him about some of her troubled past. This is one of the things that I love about Karina Halle’s writing–she slips just enough of the characters’ back story in without dumping it all out there, making you get just enough of a glimpse to be satisfied but still see how complicated and real these characters are. Even though Perry is still insecure and unsure of herself in this book, she is such a strong character and she continues to evolve, and I love that!
Dex is a bit of a mess throughout this one, and I won’t spoil while he’s all over the place. He has his reasons, which Perry doesn’t know about until the end of the book (since this is told from Perry’s first person point of view). But one thing that doesn’t change is his fierce protectiveness over Perry, and he continues to look danger straight in the eye to fight for her.
With Dex and Perry alone on an island, sharing a tent, under extreme duress from vengeful ghosts and psycho animals, the intimacy of living so closely together is unavoidable. The sexual tension that’s been brewing between these two for so long threatens to boil over, and what happens certainly made me a happy girl.
Dead Sky Morning gets the highest spooky five out of five. The scariest book in the Experiment in Terror series yet, the isolated atmosphere combined with the ghosts that can actually do real harm along with the psychological warfare targeting make for a thrilling, fast paced, and dark horror filled nightmare that the characters might not escape alive. This series has quickly become one of my favorite series, and I highly recommend them to anyone that loves mild horror, tension filled spooky stories where the characters have real growth over the course of the books while being entirely realistic.