Lying Season (Experiment in Terror #4)
by Karina Halle
Published December 2011
Amateur ghost-hunter Perry Palomino has battled ghosts, fought off skinwalkers and skirted the fine line between life and death. But can she survive bunking down in Seattle for a week with her partner (and man she secretly loves) Dex and his perfect girlfriend, Jennifer? And can she do so while being tormented by a malicious spirit from Dex’s increasingly shady past? With love and life in the balance, Perry must discover the truth among the lies or risk losing everything she’s ever cared about.
Let me just start off by saying kudos to those people who were able to read this book as it came out and wait patiently for book five. I would not have been one of those patient, sane people contentedly sitting by during the interim between books with the giant game-changer of an ending for this book. Bravo, Karina Halle for making me love a series so much that I devoured one book right after another without taking a break in between. I’ve yet to grow bored with Perry and Dex.
With the company Christmas party coming up and a haunted still functioning insane asylum to investigate, Dex invites the very-much-in-love-with-him Perry to stay with him and his live in girlfriend, Jennifer, at their apartment in Seattle for the week. This is a bad idea on so many levels, with Perry’s aforementioned feelings for Dex, Jennifer’s sickly sweet yet transparent attempts at being nice to Perry, and the fact that there’s a female ghost from Dex’s dark past turning up that only Perry can see.
Perry is hurting in this book. She’s agreed to stay with Dex on the advice of her uncle, hoping that by the end of the trip he’ll be out of her system and they can just be friends, allowing her to move on with her life. But her dark past keeps threatening to pop up and with them, her old fears that aren’t so buried, and the lies flow freely–to herself and to her new coworkers, and especially to Dex when he really needs her to be honest with him. And all of this leads to a lot of bad decisions and bad behavior on Perry’s part.
Dex has the most to lose and hide. No one really knows what’s going on inside of him or what has happened in his past (even his girlfriend Jen has no clue), but a week of Perry within such close proximity to him threatens all that he holds secret and close to himself. He knows that there’s a deep connection that he shares with Perry, but will they finally act on their true feelings? While he’s still the driven, arrogant, sexy Dex that we know and love, he’s thrown off his game because Perry has pulled a fast one on him unbeknownst to him, and this leads to some horrible outbursts from him too.
Lying Season is my favorite book in this series so far, and I give it five creepy dolls out of five. Complex characters that aren’t on their best behavior because they’re cornered combined with some truly dark scares in the mental institution investigation make for a truly enjoyable horror novel that is so much more. The will they-won’t they tension of the budding romance between Perry and Dex is blistering in this installment, and hardcore fans like me finally get some pay off with a side of “Oh, hell no. Don’t end it like that!” But lucky for us, the next book is available now.