Title: Red Fox
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Remember how much I loved Darkhouse, which I reviewed a few days ago? Well, I think it’s possible that I loved Red Fox just a little bit more. While Darkhouse set the stage for bringing the characters together, Red Fox really fleshed them out and made them more three-dimensional. The story picks up pretty much right where Darkhouse left off, with Perry anxiously awaiting the debut of her and Dex’s netshow pilot. Soon after, they’re given the go ahead to continue and head down south to the steamy hot desert in New Mexico, where strange things are happening on a ranch.

Dex and Perry are not real ghosthunters, so they’re not quite prepared for what happens to them in New Mexico. Between rocks seemingly falling from the sky, animals attacking unprovoked, and the nightmares, they’ll have their work cut out for them. Plus the couple they’re staying with is super conservative, so they have to pretend to be married.  This, of course, does wonders for the building sexual tension between the pair, which apparently everyone except Perry can see. One thing that really impresses me out their relationship is that it isn’t love at first sight. They don’t meet and, two days later, start planning a wedding because they suddenly can’t live without each other.Like the characters themselves, the relationship is very realistic.  It’s slow, confusing at times, a little awkward at moments, sweet at other moments, and just very true to the personalities of the characters.

Dex is by far the most complicated character in the book. Both Perry and the reader never really know where they stand with him, as his moods tend to change faster than a firing neuron. He’s caring and gentle one minute, a seemingly arrogant brat the next. But I’ve felt since the first book that this creates a more dynamic character. He’s not your usual Prince Charming, that’s for sure!  We learn a few more tidbits about Dex’s past that helps explain why he is the way he is, but I have a feeling Halle will be slowly doling out the rest of the details throughout the other 6 books planned for the series. The reader only gets to know Dex as quickly as Perry gets to know him, after all.

As the narrator, Perry is a little more transparent because you always know what she’s thinking. But she has some secrets in her past that she hasn’t revealed, mostly because she doesn’t quite understand them herself.  It will be really interesting to see how that plays out, especially since it clearly has something to do with why the supernatural is so drawn to her. Perry also seems a little more self-confident in this book. She’s still down on herself at times, but she really seems to find her voice towards the middle and just lets loose with what she needs to say rather than holding it back.

The atmosphere in Red Fox wasn’t quite as chilling to me as in Darkhouse. Maybe because New Mexico deserts don’t creep me out as much as lighthouses do. There were definitely some creepy moments, but to me the story was more about developing the strange relationship between Dex and Perry than advancing the supernatural angle. No complaints there though, as that was what I was hoping for, and the action came often enough to keep me engrossed in the overall plot. I am anxiously awaiting the next installment in Halle’s Experiment in Terror series. Check out her website for more information about the series and a closer look at her characters.

Red Fox is available on Amazon for Kindle ($2.99) or in paperback ($13.00)