Monday, March 16, 2009

Mystery Book Review: Death Perception by Victoria Laurie

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Death Perception by Victoria Laurie. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Death Perception by Victoria Laurie

by
A Psychic Eye Mystery with Abby Cooper

Signet (Mass Market Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-451-22486-8 (0451224868)
ISBN-13: 978-0-451-22486-6 (9780451224866)
Publication Date: September 2008
List Price: $6.99

Review: Mysteries pile upon mysteries in professional psychic Victoria Laurie’s mesmerising Death Perception, the sixth volume in her highly entertaining Psychic Eye series starring Abby Cooper. This time Abs and her FBI one and only, Dutch Rivers, who teasingly calls her “Edgar” in memory of Edgar Cayce, are in Vegas where what happens in Vegas, doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas. Especially when a mob boss’s kidnapping spills over into murder, entangling Dutch, his cousin Chase, Abby, her wealthy sister, Cat, and Abby’s PI business partner, Candice, who sometimes enlists Abby’s powers as a professional psychic to help solve her cases. The story’s layered with the mysteries of Abby’s occult abilities and her crew of ethereal assistants helping her to decipher omens, invoke visions, and interpret dreams as she and they work to solve the mysteries of the kidnapping, murder and false accusations of Dutch as the killer.

Abby and Dutch both bring baggage from their previous lives to Vegas as they fly there to investigate Chase’s disappearance and the mobster’s kidnapping. They’ve both got Dutch’s boss, FBI Special Agent Raymond Robillard, on their radar as the possible killer of agent Cynthia Frost and as a clairvoyant Abby has recurring dreams about the incident whenever she deals with him on the current case. When Dutch becomes ill, jokingly blaming her cooking, but then disappears, Abby’s dreams go into overdrive with images of oak trees, mausoleums and gravestones with barely legible inscriptions presaging a dire end for the missing agent. Then, when Robillard gets wise to Abby’s prescience about his involvement with Frost’s death, he forecasts a similar fate for her. Thankfully, Abby’s got her crew of human friends, Candice, Cat and Nora Brosseau, the wife of a Vegas police officer, to aid and abet her otherworldly guides as they all track down a bad ass bunch of suspects and sort out real leads from false trails and hokey car crashes while simultaneously fending off Robillard. But before Vegas justice wins out, wild cards get shuffled and the perpetrators get decked in a Vegas graveyard, a couple of exciting car chases spin out, the girls do a costume change and win money and a car at a casino, help an amnesiac escape from a hospital, pick up intel from a techie researcher minutes before the FBI arrive, and Abby gets instructions and advice from her dead grandmother.

Obviously, the novel’s got appeal for anyone interested in mysteries here or on the other side. And to whet the reader’s appetite for Doom with a View, the next volume in the series, there’s an excerpt at the back of the book. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to tell it will be well worth reading, too.

Special thanks to M. Wayne Cunningham (mw_cunningham@telus.net) for contributing his review of Death Perception and to Penguin Group for providing a copy of the book for the review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — M. Wayne Cunningham — All Rights Reserved — Reprinted with Permission

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Synopsis (from the publisher): Abby Cooper’s betting the house on her inner eye ...

It took a while for Abby Cooper’s FBI agent boyfriend, Dutch Rivers, to accept her psychic gifts as the real deal. But these days he knows better than to question Abby’s visions. So when his favorite cousin Chase is kidnapped in , they both catch the next flight to Sin City. Abby’s inner eye insists that Chase is still alive, but nothing else about the case adds up -- especially Dutch’s reluctance to involve his own Bureau.

On top of everything, Dutch is battling a mysterious illness, and Abby keeps having disturbing dreams that predict his death. Dutch wants Abby to promise that if the investigation goes south, she’ll head home to safety. But when the chips are down, Abby won’t fold without a fight ...

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