Severo and Laine thought they had it all. They had great friends, each other—and the spirits of McKinton, TX.
Until Sev gets a call from his sister asking to visit. He’s been the family pariah for most of his life. This sudden offering is something Sev had never even dared to hope for. Laine is suspicious but supportive. Then their world is altered when all the spirits in McKinton vanish on the same day.
Missing spirits, a coven of Wiccans, and a sister and her family all hit McKinton at the same time. Laine doesn’t know who has stolen the spirits, but he’s going to find out.
While I have enjoyed all of the books in the Southern Spirits series to date, What Remains may be my favorite. Where When the Dead Speak focused on Laine and how his relationship with Sev developed, this book is more about Sev and his ability to communicate with the spirits. Set three years later, Sev and the other residents of McKinton are taken aback when they realize that the spirits of their friends and family are no longer present. While this is upsetting for all of the residents affected as they take comfort in knowing that the spirits in their lives are watching over them, their disappearance is especially devastating for Severo because a large part of his identity is tied to speaking with the spirits.
That the disappearance coincides with the arrival of Chris’s mother’s coven and an unexpected visit by one of Sev’s sisters has Laine’s cop instincts pinging. Truth be told, after what happened with Zeke’s sister, I didn’t blame Laine one bit for being wary over an out-of-the-blue phone call to mend the family ties. Yet when Alma, her husband, and their kids arrive, it is clear that the concern was for naught as they have finally broken from the financial ties Sev’s parents hold over his siblings. Oh yes! We learn just how despicable Severo’s parents are in this installment and as bad as I thought it was based on the previous books, I found out it was even worse than that. But when Severo learns what the final straw was that helped Alma cut ties, my heart warmed and broke at the same time for Alma and Rogelio. All the while that Sev is renewing his relationship with his sister’s family, he and Laine are trying to figure out who is behind the disappearance of McKinton’s spirits. I must say that I was just as shocked as they were when they figured out who was responsible.
I suppose it’s because all of the spirits were missing that this installment felt more all-encompassing of the town’s residents. While the focus was on Severo, Bradford gives readers the opportunity to catch up with each of the couples from the previous books, which is something I almost always enjoy when reading a series. Even though Sev has played a big role in several of the books, I felt as though I got to know him so much better as a man instead of just as Sev, The Ghost Whisperer. And I was so happy that his sister’s visit turned out so well. The inclusion of Miriam’s coven in bringing the spirits back to McKinton made for an interesting facet of the story and I really enjoyed how that played out. I loved that the chemistry between Laine and Sev is just as strong after three years together, and perhaps even stronger. What Remains was an excellent addition to the Southern Spirits series and I am already looking forward to reading Ascension.