Death Perception (Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 6)
by Victoria Laurie
Review by Harriet Klausner
Signet Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451224866
Date: 02 September 2008 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Not many people are as lucky as Abby Cooper is. She makes good money as a psychic who advises clients on what to do about their problems; based on repeat customers her success rate is phenomenal. She also partners with her best friend Candice Fusco's private investigation firm; the psychic assists the sleuth with the help of her spirit guides. The icing on the cake is her lover FBI Special Agent Dutch Rivers believes in her extraordinary paranormal skills; on the basis of her vision he went after his superior for the murder of a CIA agent three decades ago. Following that harrowing investigation that still is not completed; he opened up his own security firm.
Abby is with Dutch when he receives the call that his cousin Chase, an employee of Rivers Security, was kidnapped along with the person he was guarding. Dutch thinks of Chase as his brother so he drops everything to go immediately to where his cousin lives and was last seen, Las Vegas. Abby accompanies her beloved despite his protests that this will prove dangerous. He insists she promise to go home if anything happens to him; reluctantly Abby acquiesces to his terms. Dutch follows a tip, but Abby senses something happened to him; though she knows he is alive she fears he is severely injured. When they find his car smashed in an accident with blood on the seat and an amnesiac woman inside the vehicle, Dutch's former boss comes to town spouting that the man was an agent gone bad; he also makes it look like Abby was part of the abduction conspiracy. Candice and Abby's sister Cat arrive to help her find and rescue Dutch before his former boss and the FBI agents find him.
Victoria Laurie has the uncanny ability to make paranormal skills seem real as she consistently does with her Psychic Eye and Ghost Hunter mystery series. The fun with the Abby Cooper series is the heroine does not always correctly interpret the symbols she envisions; a miscalculation could lead to death including hers. By failing to understand what she sees, the audience appreciates and accepts that she has this psychic ability but her all too modern day American "translation" comes with preconceptions that could prove wrong. Although fearing a wrong reading, still she feels an obligation to use her gift to help people even as she often hides the darker side of messages from her clients as she bears their burden. Abby is a psychic with a conscience who adds to her own stress levels rather than hurt someone emotionally although her relationships as a friend with Candice, as a sister with Cat, and a lover with Dutch has eased some of her overload.
Whereas Candice and Cat are fully developed so that they add depth to understanding Abby and in moving forward the story line, Dutch is the prime support in this case. He apparently concealed many things from Abby, not so much because he did not want to hurt her, but because he always kept his feelings especially his troubles to himself. Before anyone asks how a psychic failed to read his mind, her powers run differently. Dutch is a likable opinionated person who believes he knows what is best for himself and his beloved (duh -– he is male and that trait goes with the Y chromosome; we of the double X know the truth). However this time he proves himself wrong; if he gave Abby the information she needs, she would have solved the case for him much quicker. Abby takes his failure to communicate in stride by accepting him flaws and all as she loves and understands him.
There are plenty of surprises and revelations in the exciting story line; these keep the heroine and readers slightly off balance especially in anticipating what next. Especially entertaining are Abby's misreading of the tea leaves and the arrival of her female posse to assist her in saving the cousins; for a change females to the rescue of the perils of Paul(s).
Readers who enjoy paranormal whodunits will want to read Death Perception and Abby's backlist (see Crime Seen) as well as Ms. Laurie's other series. They both are entertaining and star individuals who make the supernatural seem genuine; perhaps the major difference is the Ghost Hunters contains more woo-woo as they interact with the ghosts in encounters of the first kind.