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Monday, 16 March 2015

‘Deadly Forecast’ by Victoria Laurie

Published by Obsidian (The Penguin Group.),
28 August 2014.
ISBN: 978-0-451-41969-9

Abigail Cooper is a psychic whose gift is for forecasting the future of people, depending on the aura surrounding them. This is not an exact science and Abigail can often feel the danger without being certain exactly where it is coming from. Abigail consults for the FBI, where her fiancé, Dutch Rivers, is an agent. Abigail has worked with this branch of the FBI for some time and she is a respected member of the team.
MJ Holliday is a friend and colleague of Abigail, although they live in different parts of the US. MJ's speciality is as a medium, communicating with the dead.

Throughout Deadly Forecast the narrative is split into two parts. The major part is in Abigail's First Person viewpoint and deals with her preparations for her wedding to Dutch. This is marred by her sister's determination to turn their wedding day into an elaborate circus, but is totally over-shadowed by the Abigail's conviction that Dutch is in danger and will die before he can marry her. Dutch and Abigail are involved in a serious bombing case, where, in two different locations, at different times, two young women have walked into a shopping mall and a hairdressing salon with bombs strapped to them, which exploded, killing the girls and several bystanders.

The other part of the narrative is in a different time frame and is told in MJ's Third Person viewpoint. It is all set on Abigail's wedding day. When MJ arrives, a short while before the wedding, she realises that Abigail has disappeared and that she has been kidnapped. MJ and Dutch search for her, knowing that death is closing in on her.

This is the 11th mystery featuring Abigail Cooper and the 9th featuring MJ Holliday, and the author shows great skill in introducing both characters, their friends and colleagues, with enough back-story to aid understanding without weighing down the book. I would find it interesting to read some of the earlier books. From the titles of the MJ Holliday books, I suspect that the tone and subject matter may be lighter than in the Abigail Cooper books, and I commend the author's skill in combining her two series so successfully.

The pace of Deadly Forecast is fast and compelling and the two time-scales combine well. The peril that the protagonists are in is always present in the reader's mind. The characters are well-drawn and appealing and, even though this book comes a long way through both series, it stands alone as a very enjoyable read.
Reviewer:  by Carol Westron

Victoria Laurie is the bestselling author of several mystery thrillers featuring Professional Psychic Abby Cooper.  She majored in Political Science and moved to Florida where she became a professional Psychic. She now lives in Austin Texas.

Carol Westron is a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.  She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  The Terminal Velocity of Cats is the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Her second book About the Children was published in May 2014.

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