When Andee Tilbrook's husband died, her preoccupation with death turned to obsession. Thanks to her unique ability to commune with the dead, her husband remains all too close, yet never close enough. Mired in grief, she clings to James's spirit, slowly losing touch with the world, her friends, and any desire to continue living.
But when her friend Josh becomes the target of Natalya, a jealous, capricious and violent Russian beauty, Andee somehow finds the strength to free herself from her misery long enough to help him. They soon discover that Natalya is wanted by the police for her involvement in a series of grisly murders, and Andee is dragged into the inquiry by the same man who investigated her own husband's death.
Torn between new feelings for Josh, and fear that he might be involved in the murders that seem to threaten anyone who comes close, Andee must face the realities of her life, her past, and her very nature-and do it all in time to save her own life.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.82(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite Chasing Azrael: Deathly Insanity by Hazel Butler is the story of a woman whose husband committed suicide. Andee Tilbrook, a young widow, has the ability to see and communicate with the dead and this has kept her in contact with James, her dead husband. When Josh, her husband’s best friend, becomes involved with a mysterious Russian woman, Natalya, she becomes aware of her attraction to Josh and vice versa. However, James is still very much around in her life. Aggressive and confrontational, Natalya attacks Andee and events soon lead to a police investigation and they discover that Natalya is suspected by the police for a number of murders. Andee finds herself getting involved with the case and eventually, she is faced with a situation where it becomes a matter of life and death. Hazel Butler’s Chasing Azrael is a paranormal thriller about an unwilling necromancer who gets entangled in difficult relationships. Andee Tilbrook, the heroine in the story, has always been surrounded by death and when her husband committed suicide, she becomes more engrossed with the dead. Imagine a world where one can see and talk to the ghosts of people who are long dead and, on the other hand, face the realities of everyday life. As such, this is a dialogue driven narrative that will change the reader’s ideas about death and dying. It is a love triangle where one of the characters involved is already lying in the cemetery. And above all, this is a story of undying love, a love that could lead to death so that it can be fulfilled. Chasing Azrael is quite a compelling read.
Chasing Azrael by Hazel Butler is a paranormal thriller with a little bit of romance thrown into the mix. Intriguing, and distinctly gothic, Chasing Azrael is a dark and haunting story. Chasing Azrael is told in a first-person narrative. It is set in the UK, and there is a fair bit of colloquialisms. There is a lot of violence, mild sexual content, and a modicum of bad language. The plot is action packed and steadily proceeds at Mach 1 from the first page to the last. There is a long list of characters, and they are reasonably well developed. Andrea, known as Andee to her friends, is an archaeologist and professor who sees and speaks with ghosts. She is a loner and rather prickly; she even refers to herself as a hedgehog. Her high intelligence is offset by her social awkwardness. She reveals little of herself to her friends and co-workers. Through flashbacks of her life with her late husband, James, readers glean some insight into Andee. Robert McFarlan is a renowned detective from Wales. He is known not only for his case-solving abilities, but also for taking on rather peculiar cases. Coincidentally, Robert met Andee when her husband, James, committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. He is a calm, mature presence, and he openly accepts and encourages Andee’s ability to speak with the dead. I hope this very likable and interesting character has a bigger role in future books in the series. I found Joshua, best friend to Andrea’s late husband, quite unlikable. Overall, I couldn’t find a reason to care about this character. He was so controlling of Andee, and he mocked her ability to see/speak with the dead. I couldn’t fathom why she tolerated him at all. Throughout the reading, I waffled between believing he was a good guy or a bad one. Andee’s other good friend, Lily, was my outright favorite character. She is a great blend of smart and sassy! Chasing Azrael takes on a few heavy issues including grief, depression, and mental illness. The treatment isn’t disrespectful, and the author doesn’t delve too deeply into those issues. In addition to mental health issues, ghosts, murders and police investigations, Butler includes some well-researched fairy tales, Russian folklore, and legend. These tales are expertly and organically included without feeling like a lecture or a data dump. Chasing Azrael has a unique premise. It is well written and never boring. There is never a dull moment due to all that is packed into the story, and overall, I found it to be a good fright and a good read. 3.5 -4 stars
Right... coherent thoughts. Um... So, first up, probably the most defining feature of this book is the way it explores depression and bipolar disorder. The main character, Andee, deals with her own depression as well as her deceased husband's bipolar (although, he doesn't have that now he's a ghost... but he is still a bit of a douche - because that had nothing to do with the bipolar... that was just him). But, it's OK... in sweeps the husband's best friend, Josh, who's had the decency to butt out for the two years since the tragic suicide of hubby, and not utter a word about his love of Andee that he's harboured for quite some time... Instant book-boyfriend there, right? Right?! Just me? No... I think not. OK. I'm risking talking this down with my tone. Thing is, I love the rough-around-the-edges-kind-of-bad-guy-comes-good main man. So, yes, I admit, Josh as a character was a major pull as far as my interest in this book goes. But the whole storyline keeps you going. It's a who-dunnit complicated by the fact that ghosts are real and some of them can influence the world of the living... maybe even kill... And I don't even want to go near any spoilery stuff. So, if you like something along the lines of paranormal-mystery with a good dollop of goth, and a dash of "Nooo! Don't let it be as the narrative is hinting it might be... MUST. KEEP. READING to find out!"... then, yeah, this might just be the book for you.
Chasing Azrael I read this book in one sitting. I’m lucky enough to have read a very early draft of the book, so I was aware of the character dynamics and relationships from the onset. I wish to add here that while I know the author, she is well aware that I wouldn’t write a favourable review if I didn’t enjoy the novel. This draft is infinitely better than the one I read. Hazel has a unique authorial voice that reminded me (in places) of Joyce Carol Oates. There’s an ominous gothic tone that resonates in the background of the story - from the description of the architecture, the locations and the references to famous literature. The reader is never quite sure what might happen next and a seemingly light sections of the novel takes dark and twisted turns. Our protagonist Andee is difficult. She’s insular, unsure, highly intelligent and yet socially awkward. At times this makes empathising with her difficult, and as a reader I was unsure whether to admire her stoicism or to loathe her coldness. The first quarter of the novel kept me switching from these thoughts quite quickly, and it’s only when I started to piece together the flashbacks of her life with James (her dead husband) that I fell into the admiration camp. Andee has had it rough. And that’s an understatement. It’s no wonder she comes across as prickly, and at one point she refers to herself as a hedgehog, which fits perfectly. It takes a lot to crack the surface of our ghost-seeing university lecturer, and I’m still not sure if any of her friends know the real Andee... The story is a paranormal mystery. There are ghosts, Russian mythology and legends, murders, police investigations and angels of Death. I’ve heard from another reader that they felt this was more of a paranormal romance...errr....no. I won’t spoil the story, but if this is a romance then I’m quite concerned as to the mechanisms of their love-life! Let me reassure you, dear reader, that this is not for those that love the happy-ever-after endings whereby the sweet prince carries off the maiden into the sunset! In relation to mythology, Hazel has done her research. There are snippets of The Snow Queen, the Seal of Solomon and rusalkas. For those that are new to Russian and Slavic folk stories and fairytales, Hazel gently explains the stories without info-dumping. I admired the natural flow of conversations between the characters and the pace of the book. As I mentioned at the start, I read this in one sitting and the only times I did stop for a bathroom break, I was stopping at a ‘good’ bit – a splash of humour, an indulgent picnic, a murder, a police interview where the darkness of a character’s past comes back to haunt them...delightful. The characters are a mixed bag. Some I (obviously) preferred to others, but they were all well layered. No-one was truly good or evil – indicative, I like to think, of real life. Their character growth was good. I invested several hours reading the book and I came away feeling satisfied. The main story arc has a fine conclusion, but leaves the door open for other stories. 4.5* from me. Rounded up to 5 for the purposes of reviewing.