As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Sphere, 13 October 2016. ISBN: 978-0-7515-6293-4 (PB)
The FBI isn’t an organization in which you’d expect to find evidence of
a belief in the philosophy of ‘more things in heaven and earth’, but Erica
Spindler’s vision of it in the first of her new series tells a different story.
Zach Harris is the first of a
specially trained group of agents whose sixth sense has been honed and directed
towards crimefighting. Seconded to the New Orleans Police Department and
partnered with kick-ass arch-sceptic Detective Micki Dare, he is thrown in at
the deep end when young women start to go missing on their twenty-first
birthdays, leaving behind a trail of destruction and strange symbols.
While Micki follows the
evidence trail, Zach’s is busy pursuing something less concrete: a powerful
energy trace left behind by the abductor – who soon turns out to be an evil
more powerful and lesstangible than
mere flesh and blood.
Spindler weaves the supernatural
into everyday policing with effortless ease, mainly because her main characters
are so engaging. Micki’s tough exterior masks a vulnerable centre, and Zach’s
façade of charm and ego, amply supplemented by his special abilities, doesn’t
quite conceal a need to be accepted and liked.
Other players such as the
enigmatic Parker and fragile Angel are equally well drawn, and there’s even an
engaging toddler who brings out Micki’s well-buried maternal side.
New Orleans itself, still
dealing with the fallout from Hurricane Katrina, is one of the stars. Spindler
clearly knows the city well, and brings her backdrop to vivid life. It all adds
up to a pacy, gripping thriller, solid police work with an additional element
which might stretch credulity at first, especially for the more pragmatic and
down-to-earth reader; but by the climactic final scenes even hard-nosed Micki
is convinced, and the woo-woo factor becomes so much part of the fabric of the
narrative that it will carry you along as it did me.
It’s a new and interesting
twist on the perennial battle between good and evil: crimefighting with added
special powers, and a far darker enemy than mere human villains. I look forward
to Micki and Zach’s next case.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Spindlerwas raised in Rockford, Illinois, Erica had planned on
being an artist, earning a BFA from Delta State University and an MFA from the
University of New Orleans in the visual arts. In June of 1982, in bed with a
cold, she picked up a romance novel for relief from daytime television. She was
immediately hooked, and soon decided to try to write one herself. She leaped
from romance to suspense in 1996 with her novel Forbidden Fruit, and found her true calling. Her novel Bone Cold won the prestigious Daphne du
Maurier Award for excellence. A Romance Writers of America Honour Roll member,
she received a Kiss of Death Award for her novels Forbidden Fruit and Dead Run
and was a three-time RITA® Award finalist. Publishers Weekly awarded the
audio version of her novel Shocking Pink
a Listen Up Award, naming it one of the best audio mystery books of 1998.
Erica lives just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband and two
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.