Near Death

A Raney/Daye Investigation, Book 1

Fiction - Paranormal
339 Pages
Reviewed on 09/28/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

When a detective dies and is revived after being shot in a robbery, his life takes an unexpected turn in the gripping paranormal thriller, Near Death (A Raney/Daye Investigation: Book 1) by Rich Hosek, Arnold Rudnick, and Loyd Auerbach. While shopping for a gift, Detective Nathan Raney is shot and is clinically dead twice before recovering. After surgery, he awakens with dreamlike memories of the robber's car and location. However, being a skeptic, he doesn't believe his recollections are anything more than drug-induced dreams caused by his painkillers. When anthropologist professor Dr. Jennifer Daye visits him to wrangle an interview, she insists his memories and experiences are real. Nate is irritated and dubious, but because he is temporarily unable to work, Jennifer compels him to assist her on a paranormal investigation. Combining their skills, they attempt to discover the person who is stalking and frightening a young woman. Even when all leads point to the inconceivable and the answers to a sixty-year-old puzzle come to light, Nate needs more proof. Can he put aside his disbelief in the paranormal long enough to help Jennifer prevent a murder? Or will he miss the obvious?

Near Death by Rich Hosek, Arnold Rudnick, and Loyd Auerbach is a riveting paranormal novel. With a provocative plot and a spellbinding storyline, it is a captivating page-turner with outstanding characters and intriguing scenes. The protagonists, Jennifer and Nate, are engaging and rival Mulder and Scully's characters from the television series, The X-Files. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, the story has the unique element of consciousness existing beyond our bodies and the tangible universe. In addition, an Afterword with fascinating facts that are interesting and insightful has been provided, and I appreciated its inclusion at the end of the book. A fascinating storyline filled with intrigue, murder, and a ghostly apparition makes this novel a spectacular read for those who love exciting, suspenseful crime stories with a supernatural flair.

Jack Magnus

Near Death: A Raney/Daye Investigation, Book 1 is a paranormal mystery novel written by Rich Hosek, Arnold Rudnick, and Loyd Auerbach. Dr. Jennifer Daye was a renowned anthropologist whose sidelines as a magician, parapsychologist, and ghost hunter caused Dean Patterson endless consternation and dismay. Her frequent appearances on the headlines of newspapers and stints as guests on shows infuriated him, finally provoking him to move her, her grad student, and staff out of her departmental offices and into the darkest recesses of the building’s basement. Detectives Nate Raney and Max Lee were taking a break from their official duties to find the department’s present for their Captain’s birthday. They had decided to do their shopping at a pricey gift store and were considering their options when Nate noticed a suspicious character entering the store. Max left the store to call for backup, leaving Nate watchful and waiting. Nate would end up critically wounded and near death by the time backup arrived. A skeptic at heart, Nate’s near death experiences were concerning, but nothing he would willingly share with anyone, particularly a ghost hunter. But maybe they could help each other.

Rich Hosek, Arnold Rudnick, and Loyd Auerbach’s Near Death will thrill anyone who enjoys paranormal detective fiction and convert just about anyone else who gives this well-written and enthralling story a try. I’ll admit to being particularly interested in the subject as one who actually already knew who Joseph Banks Rhine was and had fantasized as a teen about becoming part of the Parapsychology Lab at Duke University. I loved the intertwined stories about Jennifer Daye and her team and Nate Raney’s attempts to identify the criminals who nearly killed him via his visions while he was near death, and found the way the authors wrap them together to be ingenious and highly entertaining. The characters in Near Death are marvelous, well-crafted, and believable, and I’m so glad that this is just the first book in the series as I’m eager to read about their latest adventures. The plot also works quite well on a number of levels and keeps the reader engaged and involved. Near Death: A Raney/Daye Investigation, Book 1 is most highly recommended.

Lit Amri

"The axe dropped from Luther’s hand. The handle smacked into the growing pool surrounding Sarah’s body and a splash of crimson sprayed across his shoes. Her dead stare looked past him as his own eyes started to tear." When Detective Nate Raney is shot during a robbery, he finds himself in a near-death experience, obtaining crucial information about the criminals but remains skeptical about it. His NDE attracts the attention of anthropologist and parapsychologist Dr. Jennifer Daye, who’s actively investigating paranormal cases. Forced to be off duty and recuperate, Nate tries to dissuade Jennifer from studying his experience but ends up working with her to investigate a mysterious ghost in a woman's apartment; a place where an infamous killer murdered his last victim decades ago. Near Death is a debut for A Raney/Daye Investigation paranormal series by Rich Hosek, Arnold Rudnick, and Loyd Auerbach.

Engaging from the start, Near Death puts a good spin on the classic paranormal mystery theme. Jennifer’s somewhat eccentric nature complements Nate’s staunch appreciation of facts, rational reasons, and good food. The plot has a steady pace and the clear-cut narrative has solid sensory descriptions and incorporates realistic details. Mixed in with funny moments and gripping circumstances, the irresistible protagonists grab the limelight with their combined resourcefulness, on-point savoir-faire, and support in the form of Jennifer's own paranormal investigation team and Nate's partner. Their collaboration grows into a firm relationship that promises more in the series' next installment. All in all, this is a great start for A Raney/Daye Investigation, a commendable addition to the paranormal genre from Hosek, Rudnick, and Auerbach.

K.C. Finn

Near Death is a work of fiction in the paranormal and psychological mystery sub-genres, and was penned by author team Rich Hosek, Arnold Rudnick, and Loyd Auerbach. The first novel in the Raney/Daye Investigation book series, this installment is about our central pair of investigators when they come together over an incredible case. Nate Raney is shot and technically dies from his injuries, so when he’s pulled back from the brink with all the information he needs to find those who tried to kill him, he piques the interest of parapsychologist Dr. Jennifer Daye. Though skeptical of the world of ghosts and ghouls, the more Nate opens up, the more there is to discover in the world of cold cases that are allegedly unsolvable.

The writing team of Rich Hosek, Arnold Rudnick, and Loyd Auerbach has crafted a highly immersive and really accomplished work of paranormal detective fiction, one which I could easily see becoming a hit TV series for its many dynamic twists and clever ideas. Readers will certainly enjoy Nate and Jen for their stylish, witty banter and the differing opinions that lead them to their most excellent conclusions as they get their detective work going. There’s plot aplenty for this first novel, with well-woven strands that connect in unexpected yet satisfying ways, and the developments promise much more in the future of this cinematic and engaging paranormal world. Overall, I would highly recommend Near Death for fans of genre-bending and uniquely plotted mystery novels, as well as those new to the genre.

Foluso Falaye

As a parapsychologist, Dr. Jennifer Daye has to constantly defend her belief in the paranormal to her skeptical dean, who believes it has no place in the anthropology course she teaches at Cal State Hayward University. Nate Raney is a detective that only believes in facts, and to him, ghosts are not real. However, he experiences a surprising revelation when he gets shot at a robbery scene and is pronounced clinically dead from the injury. While he recovers from his near-death experience, Jennifer reads about him in a newspaper and decides to find out about his "paranormal" experience even though he refuses to call it that. They agree to work together to investigate a case of a woman who claims to see a ghost in her apartment and prove each other wrong. Near Death, Book One of the Raney/Daye Investigation novels by Rich Hosek, Arnold Rudnick, and Loyd Auerbach, depicts two opposing beliefs about the paranormal and a search for the truth.

A brilliant mix of crime and paranormal! It is mind-boggling, charming, and certainly haunting. With the compelling and immersive narrative, it was easy to fall in love with the characters and the story; in fact, I could see myself being friends with the protagonists if they really existed. I loved the various themes explored in Near Death: near-death experiences, serial killings, shootouts, investigations, and much more. The romantic tension and competitiveness between the two main protagonists were exciting and fun to read and would appeal to anyone that enjoys an interactive story. In short, the collaboration between Rich Hosek, Arnold Rudnick, and Loyd Auerbach has produced a paranormal masterpiece.