Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Psychic Detectives

George D. Shuman's debut mystery, 18 Seconds, literally burst onto the scene. An instant darling of the mystery community, it seemed every time I turned around I was hearing how fantastic this book was. And rightfully so. It was fantastic. It was before my reviewing time, but I did write in my book journal that it was recommended by Stephen King and that I hoped it would become a series. 

I like to use my own reviews here, but I'm currently reading the third, and upcoming title in the series, Lost Girls. So, to get new readers interested, here's what PW had to say:

Beautiful, blind Sherry Moore is matter-of-fact when telling two police detectives about her agonizing gift—the ability to see the last 18 seconds of a dead person's life. It's not supernatural, in her telling; it's science imperfectly understood. It's also the defining characteristic of Sherry's life; orphaned and injured at a young age, she cannot say no to the bereft who want her help in solving gruesome crimes. Shuman is a 20-year veteran of the Washington, D.C., police force, and his debut novel mercilessly depicts the horror wrought by serial killer Earl Sykes, who specializes in young women out for a good time at the New Jersey shore. Narrative relief from a litany of horrific crimes comes when the scene shifts to Sherry's tender relationship with a married police detective, and to police lieutenant Kelly Lynch-O'Shaughnessy's marital struggles. While the large number of characters and cross-cutting of their perspectives leads to occasional confusion, the vividly drawn central figures and authoritative voice keep the reader grimly committed.

I'm a big fan of the paranormal mysteries, I just can't seem to get enough of them as long as they're well written. I would say that Shuman ranks up there with my faves, Stephen Woodworth and Terri Persons. (I still have Diane Emley's debut on my reading shelf as well.) 

When I was in New York last year, I took a special trip to The Strand bookstore and bought Shuman's second book, Last Breath. I read most of it that afternoon while waiting for my friends to get home from work, curled up in their apartment while it rained outside and their cat kept me company. Finished it on the plane the next day, btw.

And now to Lost Girls. Seeing as how I always want readers to start with book number one, I won't tell you much about it. It is pretty good so far, and pretty shocking to say the least. It involves human traffickers in Haiti. It's also pretty short. 

Fringe update: If you missed the first episode then shame on you. It rocked! If you were and X-Files fan, you'll definitely want to keep up with this one. No worries if you missed tonight, the premiere is supposed to re-run on Sunday.  


Michele said...

Ooh! I love mystery series! I am adding this to my tbr list. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Do you know if George D. Shuman has another book coming out?

Becky LeJeune said...

J. Kaye, Shuman's new book, Lost Girls, is due out on the 16th.

Becky LeJeune said...

Hope you like the series, Michele!

Anonymous said...

And you say it right there in the post...I read it - I swear! After Gustav, I have been so brain dead...not that I had much left to kill off anyway.

Thank you for the response. I'd like to see what he does in his third book.

Becky LeJeune said...

Haha! No problem J. Kaye!