Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

"Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life."

I normally do not read stories about ghost. There was something about the title, Anna Dressed in Blood, that drew me in. I pleasantly and creepily surprised by the quality of this ghost story. There were so many points when I thought in my head, holy crap did that just happen. I usually read late after the kids go to sleep and I found myself hearing every little noise in my house. Kendare Blake's writing sent chills down my spine at points but I couldn't stop reading it. I was so captivated by the characters and what their stories were. I was surprised for some reason every time someone was murdered. It was a creepy roller coaster ride with a lot of twist and turns and things you don't seem coming.

I really liked the characters in this book. Cas, the professional ghost killer, was easy to like. Even though he's shut himself off to the world with a no friends policy. You can see his tenderness in the way he treats his mom and his dedication to finishing what his dad started. Anna, the rampaging murderous ghost, was easy to feel sorry for. Even while she was murdering people before you knew what made her the way she is. Cas's white witch mom, black witch friend and the prom queen made a fun cast of supporting characters. I liked that the prom queen wasn't some mean dim-witted girl like you would expect. I connected to the characters easily.

In general I loved the story and I loved how it was written. It had me by locked in but I felt the end was a little rushed. They introduce a sort of new character and it seems like Kendare kind of speed through his role. I'm wondering if he will make a reappearance in the next book but we will see. It's the only reason I would give this 4.5 stars instead of 5. Even if you don't like ghost stories usually I would read this book.