Osborne, Stephen. “Animal Instinct”, Dreamspinner Press, 2012.
A Paranormal Romantic Mystery
“Animal Instincts” is the second book in Stephen Osborne’s Duncan Andrews series and is a sequel to “Pale as a Ghost”. However, it is not necessary to read the former to enjoy the latter. (Does that sentence make sense?). Duncan Andrews is a detective who has a knack and an advantage for solving paranormal crimes. He has a dog that is a zombie, a best friend, Gina, who is a witch and a boyfriend, Robbie, who is a ghost. Are you not already intrigued? I think that if I read that somewhere I would be rushing out to find the book.
It seems that a wizard has been using his powers to control animals. This wizard just happens to be Gina’s father. Granted, all of this sounds weird and it is but Osborne has the ability to tell a good story so one simply has to relax and let Osborne weave his spell which he does excellently. The story moves quickly and Osborne has a great knack for one liners so that before you realize it, you are swept into the story.
Duncan is hard at work on the case and he enlists Gina’s help because of her own paranormal skills. He does not have too much luck however because Gina falls into a coma and Duncan has to continue alone. There is something else going on with Duncan here and it concerns his boyfriend, Robbie. Robbie loves Duncan but because he is a ghost, he knows that they cannot have a real relationship and he feels he is holding Duncan back from finding true love from a real living person. Osborne handles this brilliantly as he shows us the frustrations and pain that his characters feel.
Actually the mystery is solved quickly and the book then turns to how to deal with what has happened. The book then begins to concentrate on what was happening between Duncan and Robbie. What I forgot to mention that living with Duncan is Nick who just might be boyfriend material for our detective. However, Duncan really loves the ghost and being celibate does not worry him—he will do what he has to keep Robbie. Robbie feels that the time has come for him to move on and that it would be best for both of them. In that way Robbie can find another ghost and Duncan can find a human. Whether this happens or not you will have to discover for yourself by reading the book. The issue of whether they are each holding the other back is the main theme of the story but there is also a mystery here. Therefore this book can be classified as a romantic, paranormal mystery. We do not know what is going to happen to the guys in the future and I bet the author is still working on that. Therefore, I feel sure that we can expect more books in the series. Stephen Osborne has found himself an idea that he can toy with and he does so with style.
- Posted in: GLBT fiction