I am not particularly partial to psychic-based mysteries, and I don’t know if I would have read this one had I known beforehand that it fell into that category, but I’m glad I went in blind, because I really got swept up in reading this one.
Finley is a budding psychic and college student, who rather than listen, is trying to escape the voices and ghosts of people she sees and hears all around her. When Finley starts hearing a strange noise over and over again and can’t get away from it, her grandmother, Eloise, knows what is in store for her, and starts to gently nudge her down the right path. Eloise is also a psychic, and has spent her life working with a private detective to solve the disappearances and tragedies that seem to accumulate a little too frequently around the small town they all live in. When Merri Gleason comes back to the town almost a year after her daughter’s kidnapping in a last ditch effort to find her, Finley is drawn into the search and is forced to decide to embrace her instincts or run from her abilities and the devastation they would inevitably involve her in.
The mystery itself is engaging, though not particularly complex. There’s not so much anything to figure out, as we’re not really introduced to any players or circumstances that would lend themselves to trying to solve it. The action is much more focused on the inner lives of Finley and Merri, and their surrounding family members as they try to work through their places in the terrible tragedies they may be faced with. I think this is to the story’s strength. The actual crimes committed are fairly grisly, but straightforward, and the questions of how we move on from loss, what responsibilities we have to strangers versus ourselves, and how do we reconcile those obligations are much more interesting. There is a solid and well set-up twist at the near to the end point of the novel that I won’t spoil, but it’s great. I almost wish there was a little more exploration of the aftermath of the twist, but it was so affecting that I didn’t really notice that until I sat down to write this. Overall, it was a very engaging read, and most of the issues it has are pretty minor, and didn’t stand out to me on first reading. I was pretty immediately engaged, and didn’t want to put it down until it was over.