Abby Cooper is a psychic intuitive living in the suburbs of Detroit. She “reads” for people for a living. When one of her clients ends up dead, she ends up on the run from a killer.
Victoria Laurie is, herself, a professional clarivoyant. As stated in her author blurb, she drew upon her own experiences to create the character of Abby Cooper. Abby is a likable character, flawed, but positive and intelligent. She is drawn into the police investigation of her client’s death quite by accident– she winds up on a blind date when too many margaritas loosen her tongue and she tells her date that she is a psychic intuitive. Her date is a cop. Whoops.
The storyline was entertaining, the characters were likable and the setting very realistic. Just a few issues I noted…
I found myself with a ballpoint pen, circling all the adverbs. And there were a lot of them. Laurie has a clear penchant for the words “suddenly” and “finally.” I did feel like she used adverbs at the expense of telling instead of showing.
We didn’t see the main plot until page 101. The protag is confronted with a murder in the beginning, that the reader is led to believe will begin the plot, but the first murder actually has nothing to do with the plot. That felt like a betrayal.
There were several points in the book when I wanted to see something. For example, at one point the protag says “…and for the hundredth time that week I felt myself looking around anxiously. This had been happening to me since Monday.” There are a lot of details, mundane details, in this novel, and I could not figure out why, when we moved through that time with the character we weren’t given any inkling that she was looking about anxiously. If the author wanted the anxiety included, she could have gone back through the novel and inserted a few moments. Anxiety and a feeling of being followed strikes me as important to the reading experience and setting up the sense of urgency.
**WARNING SLIGHT SPOILER**
My other major problem with the story is that the killer was not introduced in the beginning, or at least before s/he’s unveiled as the killer. There is no possible way for the reader to follow along and guess who the killer may have been. The reader can insinuate certain circumstances, but we find out about the victim’s past late in the novel, and it comes as a complete surprise. I wanted the killer to be someone I could have identified. We don’t know this killer until s/he’s attacking our protag. This was the ultimate betrayal for the mystery reader who likes to “play along.”
Despite these issues, I very much enjoyed the details about how her gift of clairvoyance worked and the details in setting. Abby Cooper is a likable character that I enjoyed reading about, and I’ll probably pick up the other books in the series.