Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A psychic detective mystery

The cute, chick-lit-esque covers of this series promise fun, light mysteries, so I thought I'd try the first one for a little (nearly) summer reading. And mostly, it delivered.

Abby Cooper is a skilled psychic whose best friend/business partner is moving away. Abby is also recovering from a difficult break-up, but knows it's time to get back in there. Her blind date goes great - until she discusses her psychic abilities with him, referring to a kidnapping story she saw on the news, and reveals details that are intimate to the case. Unfortunately, her hot date turns out to be a cop -- one who is extremely skeptical of her psychic skills.

The sudden death of one of her clients draws Abby into a complex and dangerous situation, made even more difficult by the intense guilt Abby feels for not having been able to prevent the death in the first place. Soon it becomes evident that she is the murderer's next target. Now she must work with a man she's physically attracted to, but who can't seem to take her profession seriously.

This book was fun and had a fairly gripping plot, but every so often it would jar me out of the story with prose that needed some serious editing. I know I'm probably pickier about grammar than lots of people - I'm right there with Lynne Truss (author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves) when she's out with her permanent marker adding missing apostrophes to signs - but honestly, when someone misuses language it diminishes their authority for me. Take this sentence, for example: "I sealed the envelopes, then closed my eyes, and began swirling them round and round the tabletop..." I had to go back and reread that one a few times, because I pictured her swirling her eyeballs around the table. Things like that kind of ruin the moment - but they were nothing that a good editor shouldn't have caught. I think the days when writers had careful editors are long gone, which is a shame. Every writer, no matter how accomplished, can benefit from a fresh set of eyes (as long as they're not swirling around the table top).

At any rate, I still enjoyed the book - it had great insight into the way psychics perceive the world, and when I got to the end of the book and read the author bio, I learned that the author is actually a clairvoyant and police psychic. It was a fun twist on a mystery to see how the author was able to ratchet up the tension by playing on the limits of the protagonist's psychic abilities. I look forward to reading the next installment in the Psychic Eye series.

Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie (Signet reissue edition, 2004)

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like a Virginia Gal kinda book...what do you think?

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  2. I think you might like it. My goal for the summer is to write a review for one that you just HAVE to go out and read. :-)

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