Five Star, Dec 2007, $25.95, 263 pp.
CPA P.J. Benson moves away from Kalamazoo into a small house she inherited from her paternal grandfather in Zenith Michigan, a farming community where nobody locks their doors. This proves to be a mistake as P.J. discovers when she is taking a walk in the woods and she hears shots ring out. She rushes home finding a blood trail that leads to her kitchen until she reaches a dead man.
Detective Wade Kingsley is put in charge of the case and feels that P.J. is a possible suspect even though she doesn’t know the man. Her closest neighbors John and Julia think they know who the victim was and they believe he stole bioengineered lady bugs from a lab. They can’t tell the police because John brought them home from work without permission. Several times P.J. feels someone has been in her home but the police think she is crazy (a sore spot for her because her mother is a schizophrenic) but she knows where each pf her belongings are supposed to be. When certain evidence comes to light, Wade believes her and wants her to stay at his sister’s house until they can figure out what is going on. P.J. refuses and almost gets them both killed from a ghost out of her past.
Since mental illness runs in her family, P.J. ponders if the things that are happening to her are hallucinations like a jealous lesbian poisoning her food or her hearing the voice of someone dead for eighteen years over the phone. She comes to realize she is as sane as anyone else and somebody is playing mind games with her. The mystery is well constructed with different neighbors at different times coming under suspicion. THE CROWS is a creative well written psychological suspense thriller.