This review is for the audiobook version of The Other Side Of Midnight, by Simone St James. This might just be St. James’s best work so far! In 1920s London, psychic Ellie Winter, daughter of the famed Fantastique, is asked to help a mysterious government agent find his sister’s ghost. Gloria Sutter used to be Ellie’s best friend, until her scheming brought ruin to the Fantastique. The New Society was trying to bring legitimacy to psychic phenomenon, but their testing proved Ellie’s mother a fraud, which Ellie knows she wasn’t. In searching for Gloria’s killer, Ellie becomes re-acquainted with James Hawley, who played a part in her mother’s downfall, but he is not as he had previously seemed. James is suffering from post-traumatic shock, or as it was known then, shell-shock. Can Ellie and James put aside their differences and work together to solve Gloria’s murder? Can they look past the disastrous testing and rekindle the romance that had been budding years before?
The descriptions of post-WWI London are stunning. The characters seem so real. I liked Ellie Winter, and hope she and James were able to work things out. I even came to feel sorry for Gloria, who was quite a diva and seemed to bring a lot of misery on herself. It was fun to reencounter Inspector Merriken, from St. James’ earlier novel An Inquiry Into Love And Death.
As with the last Simone St. James novel I listened to, the reader was very well chosen. She has a London accent, not too posh, not too poor, but just right. So often British audiobook readers use practiced Received Pronunciation accents, like BBC news readers, which wouldn’t have fit with this character at all. I’m really learning to appreciate the skill and selection of audiobook readers, and this was a perfect fit.