The Lace Reader
FJP, Sep 2007, $14.95
Feeling like she is suffering from Battle Fatigue Syndrome, the emotionally shook up Towner Whitney has survived several recent traumas. To regain her equilibrium and mentally heal, she returns to her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts where generations of ancestors have told fortunes.
However, Towner is almost immediately stunned when her beloved great-Aunt Eva, the renowned lace reader, vanishes in what some believes is an unfortunate accident, but Towner suspects foul play. The police ignore her concerns as she has a history of hallucinatory visions although cop John Rafferty leads the inquiry to insure a murder did not occur as is done with all questionable disappearances if workload allows it. Although he thinks Towner is a nut case he also is attracted to her so as she grieves her loss, he begins to uncover facts about the weird Whitney brood past and present as well as starting to think that Eva was murdered.
THE LACE READER is a terrific paranormal police procedural in which fans will appreciate the rotating various perspectives as unreliable sources provide unreliable accounts of the same incident. The story line is fast-paced, but it is the changing viewpoints in which John and the audience wonder who if anyone got it right especially the three generations of Whitneys who agree on almost nothing. Brunonia Barry provides an enjoyable mystery in which relativity is not an exact science and a fact requires extrapolation from the sources who agree on little. This is a winner.