strangeHalle Michaels was killed in combat in Afghanistan. After she was revived she started seeing ghosts.  She came home to West Prairie City, South Dakota for her sister’s funeral in Wide Open and strange things ensued. Strange Country is the third book and West Prairie City is still unsettled (and unsettling).

Coates books are atmospheric in the same way that Bledsoe’s The Hum and the Shiver is – although the setting and the pretext are completely different. This trilogy takes place on the open prairie and if it isn’t always winter, it sure feels like it. Halle Michaels is just barely a vet – her mind has not really disengaged from the battle-field yet and that’s sometimes all that keeps her alive (again).

Strange Country is laboring under the weight of the previous two novels. Wide Open was magnificent and spooky, Deep Down was weird, and Strange Country has to tie up a lot of loose ends from Deep Down. It is either the end of the series or a turning point.

Maybe a Ghost Story category would describe it better, but it might be the only inhabitant. This is good fiction. I highly recommend Wide Open. Start there and see how far you get.

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