The Other Side

Image of The Other Side
Release Date: 
January 17, 2010
Jove Books
Reviewed by: 

In Possession In Death, J.D. Robb’s segment in The Other Side anthology, Eve tells hunky husband Roarke, “I need you to give me a really open mind. I mean wide-open.”

Well, same goes for anyone reading this collection of five short stories.

Obviously, Nora Roberts (writing as J. D. Robb) delivers by far the best story in this otherworldly anthology. Roberts/Robb has an admirable knack for making the impossible seem plausible, and does so again when Eve becomes possessed by the spirit of a deceased Romany “speaker for the dead.”

“Possession In Death” is a great bonus gift for Eve and Roarke fans, as the couple works together to solve a case that will allow Eve to be “de-possessed.” There is at least one banter exchange between the couple that is Eve and Roarke at their best: Quick, witty, and priceless. This story makes this book worth it all by itself.

Three of the other stories are OK. The other may be too weird for many.

Patricia Gaffney’s “The Dancing Ghost” is the tale of two skeptics, both willing to resort to a con for different reasons. Angie wants people to believe her ancestral home is haunted so no one will buy it before she can claim it as her own. Henry has a secret past that has forced him to resort to “ghost hunting.” It’s got a bit of fun and mystery.

Ruth Ryan Langan’s “Almost Heaven” could be really sad, but Langan does a good job at steering readers away from that. Christina is devastated when her parents die in a car accident. She’s left to take care of the family business, and her younger brother. Her fiance doesn’t seem to be sincere in his support. She’s not aware that her ghostly parents are working to help secure a safe and happy future. She does know that when Jake, a local carpenter, shows up to do some renovations he gives Christina all the help, and love, she really needs.

Mary Kay McComas’ “Never Too Late to Love” is a bit lacking on romance, but is a fun tale of eccentric ghosts trying to prevent their niece from tearing down their home. M.J. meets next-door-neighbor Ryan and his son, and learns that there is more to life than work.

It’s Mary Blayney’s “The Other Side of the Coin” that could be a bit too bizarre. Bettina and Harry are new parents and happily married. But Bettina thinks her husband is having an affair, or wants to. Harry doesn’t understand his wife’s lack of trust. She wishes Harry “could be in my shoes.” He wishes his wife “would trust me.” Suddenly, they find themselves in each other’s bodies. Some of it is humorous. Some just too weird.