Betty Cries . . .

A Jake St. Johns Novel

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
232 Pages
Reviewed on 03/24/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Betty Cries . . . A Jake St. Johns Novel by James A. Leyshon is an engaging urban fantasy with a sophisticated protagonist. In this novel, the author introduces readers to Jake St. John, a seemingly normal guy with a unique gift. Jake has the gift of seeing ghosts, but he is baffled that he can hear the crying sounds of a little girl, the only ghost he can’t see. This is disturbing and happens every morning when he wakes up. But finding Betty is like finding a new mission and what she requires of him is far more challenging than he might have imagined. Is Jake up for the task?

There is an eerie creepiness that permeates the writing and at any moment, the reader expects something sinister to happen. This is a story that is skillfully written for fans of the paranormal. The characters are well-imagined and written with humanity. The descriptive nature of the prose captivated me and I enjoyed how James A. Leyshon uses the elements of the setting to enhance the way the characters feel and think. The imagery is strong and allows readers to easily visualize the scenes and to feel the characters. It is this cinematic nature of the writing that had me gripped from the very start of the story until the end. The stream of consciousness plunges the reader into the psyche of the characters, a technique that creates a strong bond between the reader and the characters. Betty Cries . . . A Jake St. Johns Novel is a great work of art, entertaining and engrossing, a delectable read filled with compassion and pathos.

Tiffany Ferrell

Jake St. Johns isn’t your average twenty-something. On top of being a psychic who is in tune with the dead, he is also a clairvoyant. One ghost that completely eludes him is that of a small child crying for her father. This child specter has been following him since he was eighteen. Aside from the strange and unusual, Jake also has another problem that he’s oblivious to; the IRS is having him followed and investigated for fraud and possible money laundering. St. Johns has a lot more problems than to be worried about the IRS and the crafty way he spends his fortune. While he’s desperate to find out the identity of the little girl that’s been haunting him for years, a new woman enters his life. Tammy doesn’t seem to be like other women Jake has shown interest in. In fact, he is wondering at long last if he’s finally found someone like himself. Oddly enough though, shortly after Tammy enters his life, the spirit world starts going crazy as ghosts and demons come searching for him.

I really enjoyed reading Betty Cries . . . James Leyshon has written a breath of fresh air with what I assume is part of a series about Jake St. Johns. This is the first Jake St. Johns book I have read but it was so well written that I was able to jump right into the story without having any confusion or sense of being lost. It’s definitely a book that can stand alone in that aspect. I found Jake’s character really likable and easy to relate to. His story is unique and unlike anything I have read before. Betty Cries . . . has a very easy-going flow to it which makes it an easy page-turner that holds your attention throughout the end. The other minor characters in the story were equally engaging, which made this book very easy to like. Betty Cries . . . by James Leyshon is definitely a book that I would recommend to others, and I myself would like to read more of Jake St. Johns’ supernatural adventures.

K.C. Finn

Betty Cries… A Jake St. Johns Novel is a work of fantasy and paranormal fiction penned by author James A. Leyshon. Filled with mystery, intrigue, drama and thriller elements, this enticing and engaging novel follows protagonist Jake St. Johns, a man with an unusual gift. Jake can hear the thoughts of other people and see spirits, and though it’s a gift he’s learned to live with, it does sometimes get in his way. Take Betty, for example, the weeping girl whose ghost never leaves him alone. When Jake begins to be investigated for fraud, a chain of events causes Betty to manifest, and this, in turn, drives Jake’s life into a sudden downward spiral that he will have to fight to survive.

Author James A. Leyshon spins a marvelous yarn that will tick all of the boxes for supernatural mystery fans. There are cozy elements to the tale as we learn about our protagonist Jake and follow the clues to his mysterious gift, but then the plot turns on a knife-edge and gives plenty of tension and twists. I liked the character development of Jake in particular, and the realistic emotional weight that he carries along with his gifts. The everyday elements of the plot concerning the IRS only serve to juxtapose the normal with the surreal even more, deftly throwing Jake’s life off balance and sending readers spiraling with him. Overall, Betty Cries… A Jake St. Johns Novel is a highly recommended read for those who enjoy speculative thrillers with plenty of content.