Catch a Ghost (Hell or High Water)

Catch a Ghost  - S.E. Jakes I’m finding it difficult to arrive at a starting point for this review. Having just finished this book, it feels like I was dropped right into the middle of Tommy and Prophet’s chaos - quiet, violent, understanding, sexual chaos – and I can no longer even see where it all began. I’m diving right in, sinking like a wad of soaked shirts, being dragged out by the undertow, which is exactly how I felt, even when I could no longer breathe. I fucking love it. This story is filled with Jakes’ most fluid, honest, real, heart pounding and finger twining gentle writing to date. The humor is a constant fellow roller coaster rider from the beginning. This the conveyer belt scene at the airport tells a lot about these two men, especially when looking back on it now after having learned more about them so many pages later. What also says a lot about them is the first time they have sex. Yes, it’s early in the time line, but it would have felt incongruous, dishonest, if they hadn’t. A highly adrenalized situ, one wounded but not gravely, pain meds working like admitted truth serum. Add in some comingled sparks and there it is. No control, even if you wanted it. Questions, is this smart, you know it’s not but there it is. Ignore that precarious grip of that control. Fuck it, do it, you do, both. These two men, it’s not that they don’t have defenses up, that fences aren’t there, but they recognize each other through them, through the slats. It does make for easier, if not frustrating, communication, reactions, to feel each other. They just can’t help themselves. Not just with the attraction but the agitation, curiosity, respect, anger, everything. All of the supporting characters are very important, there is not a single throw away in the bunch. The part they each play is revealed at varying levels, names are revealed when appropriate, even if not until very late in the game. I found myself having many questions and I love that. A few are answered, some won’t be answered until later books to come. Some, even, are nearly imperceptible when presented. Questions and honesty and humor and action and sex. C’mon, what a freaking combination. Back to Tommy and Prophet for a bit. I’m not one to usually include a lot of spoilers (I know it’s tempting and maybe even a bit annoying if you’re reading a review before reading the book, at least that’s how I feel sometimes) but I feel I must here. There are four reasons, well four of, why Tommy and Prophet will never be done with each other, never, no matter what this universe throws at them, no matter the harrowing, sexy, blind, mystery filled journeys they take. Reason one: Prophet: “ Right. The Voodoo.”Tommy: “I knew it would happen before I fucked you like that, Proph. This is blowback from that. Don’t… not after…” they DO know each other. Remember the fence slats. Reason two: Tommy thinking: Prophet was just as much as a liability to Tom as Tom was to him. And that wasn’t an accusation but rather an inescapable fact. They both feel responsible, protective, even if they don’t admit it. At least not in ‘loving’ terms. Reason three: Proph cares too much, so much. He’s not so good at what he does because he doesn’t care, about others or his own safety, but because he does care. So much. And this bleeds into how he feels about Tommy. Reason four: Tom didn’t say anything for several more feet, trying to figure out what Prophet’s choice had cost him. He knew Prophet had made the wrong choice, but he also knew neither of them regretted it. Tom feels this, Prophet feels this, hence his decision, and they each know the other feels it, as well.Final spoiler, this in regards to the title: Proph feels responsible for so many lives, most of them dead now. Hence… the ghosts, and he’s fucking scared as shit that he’ll become one, too. But his guilt and sense of taking care of them keeps him from totally giving in. THIS. It's really all I can say. Just so I don’t leave you completely exasperated at this point. Here is one quote I feel I can safely share that won’t give any specifics away but says a lot:Tommy: “Are you going to leave me standing here or invite me in?”Prophet: “You were never not invited.” The fucking is hot, never repetitive and there are always reveals, always story that gets catapulted forward when it happens. These are two GUYS having a big time go at each other. With humor, anger, honesty, insults, caring and distance. I could not find fault with this story, the characters, the writing, the questions and demands. I hesitate to say that, as nothing is perfect. Everything fit, it worked, even when I felt the gaps in the corners of the square hole trying to accommodate a round peg. Something these two feel they both are, except for maybe when they’re with each other. Though, even then, it’s almost like they can’t quite believe or trust that it may be the case. Then again, they do trust each other – one realizing it about the other, even if they don’t see it themselves. And around and around they go, in the square hole. The subtlety of the discoveries between these two men, it’s a contradiction – no, a contrast – to the ‘in your face’ nature that is a part of both of them. Texture. I want that in a story, texture I can feel beneath my fingertips as I rub them across the words, the actions, the emotions. Tactile. Maybe that’s it. This is a very tactile story. I want more, and apparently, we’re going to get it. Given this mini tome I’ve blubbled (yes, new word alert: babbled, bubbled, blurted, take your pick), I have no choice but to give five stars, and I happily, languidly, do so. This one clearly hit all of the sweet spots for me and I can't avoid that.FREAKING. BRAVO. Thanks to anyone who actually read this entire thing. I hope I served the story well and made you bump into furniture and gain a bruise or two in your rush to get it and read this book. ;)