Night Mist
by Helen R Myers, paranormal(2001, 1993 reissue)
Silhouette Dreamscapes, $4.50, ISBN 0-373-51127-2

Dr Rachel Gentry is, like her name, a genteel lady working as a doctor in the rustic wilderness of Black Water Creek, Louisiana. But for three nights in a row now she has seen a ghost in the mists. It is the ghost of this wounded/dying fellow who warns her not to trust someone. Imagine Doc's surprise when she discovers that her reclusive neighbor Jay Barnes is a dead ringer for the ghost. Is he going to die and has Doc encountered a premonition? Or does Jay have some twin he doesn't know that need help?

On his part, Jay isn't who he seems to be. He is, in fact, hiding from some Great Evil Conspiracy in this backward area, and he is not happy with Doc poking her nose into his life. It's definitely love.

Now, Night Mist is a great ghost story. The heroine really pulls off this story with her wide-eyed horror as she tries to solve the ghostly mystery. When the story's about her, I have a great story in my hands. When the story focuses on the hero, however, ugh.

Jay is a whiner. He keeps complaining that oh, to hide from the Bad People, he has live in this cramped, nasty, smelly place. Oh, the pain! And the weather! It sucks! The people are disgustingly optimistic! He doesn't belong here. He wants out! He hates his life! HE WANTS OUT! Out, out, out! The cold, the fog! The lack of modern amenities! AAAAARRRGGGHH!

Trust me, I am AAAAAAAARRRRGGGHHHing with him in this one. Can someone stuff some cloth into that spoiled whiner's mouth? Even after a grand Ghostly Experience late in the story, when Doc tries to approach him, his first words are something in the effect of "Do you know what I have been through? How could this happen to me?" Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I. Bla bla bla bla bla. What a bore.

And the best part is, Jay suspects that Doc is an enemy spy. Why? Because she is beautiful, and beautiful women don't stay in smelly, wet, hot, dingy pits like this place, right? And he's attracted to her. Those bad guys must have known his weakness for pretty chicks, so she must be a spy! He must drive her away!

Really, Jay, the world doesn't revolve around you, you know. It's a good thing I am not the heroine, because you can bet on Chapter Five, I would have pushed him off the bridge and cheer as I watch his head hit the rocks on his way down.

Other than the hero's machine-gunning pity-party and self-absorbed memememe's that can put Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat cake!" faux pas to shame, Night Mist is a pretty solid story. Too bad it doesn't come along with a gag for the hero.

Rating: 65

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