Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Death Perception" by Victoria Laurie

It took a while for Abby's FBI agent boyfriend, Dutch Rivers, to accept her psychic gifts as the real deal. But these days he knows better than to question Abby's visions. So when his cousin Chase is kidnapped after a bloody shoot-out in a Vegas alleyway, he agrees that her clairvoyant skills could be invaluable, and they both catch the next flight to Sin City. Abby's inner eye insists that Chase is still alive, but nothing else about the case adds up - especially Dutch's reluctance to involve the FBI. On top of everything, Dutch is battling a mysterious illness, and Abby keeps having disturbing dreams that predict his death. Dutch wants Abby to promise that if the investigation goes south, she'll head home to safety, but when the chips are down, Abby won't fold without a fight.

This is the sixth book in Laurie's "Psychic Eye" series, and the first review I've done of any of the books. Basically, they fall under the "cute/cozy/slightly-paranormal mystery" category. They don't take long to read, and they don't take a lot of brain power, either. Yup, my "popcorn" books that I've referred to in past reviews.

This one really isn't any different, except that it is the first one I found myself being somewhat disappointed in, and that seems an odd thing to say, given that my expectations weren't that high in the first place. I've gotten used to Laurie repeating herself when she's giving exposition about how Abby's abilities work, her "crew", what goes through her mind when something is true/false, etc. While it's probably not nearly as noticeable when you have to wait a year between books, it would still be nice if authors could find a way to fill in that backstory in their series' entries without sounding like carbon copies all the time. But I digress....

I know that Abby's visions don't always make sense, and I know that she's not always the sharpest crayon in the box, but hello - the things she "misses" are so obvious, it's not even funny. Take Dutch's "mysterious illness"; I don't hold a medical degree but I knew within the first two scenes what was wrong with the guy! Then there's the issue of her new cellphone; Dutch gave her this gift in the previous book, and while she wasn't thrilled, she was grateful later on because said phone is equipped with a GPS device, meaning it could be used to track someone's location. Got that? Our girl Abby is desperately trying to find Dutch at one point in this book and remembers aha! the cellphone has GPS! But in the very next chapter (after she fails to find said boyfriend), she forgets that the cellphone can be used to track her and gives away her location to the bad FBI guy. Really? Really? I had a hard time buying that myself.

Then there's the issue of the casino. Yep, Abby's "crew" helps her win a sweepstakes, including money and two Mini-Coopers, pretty much the same way that they helped her pick lottery numbers for Dutch's ex-police-partner, Milo. Um, I don't know whether I believe in psychic abilities or not, but I sort of feel like if they are real, there would be a lot more lottery winners. Just saying.

By the time Abby, her sister Cat, and her PI-office-partner Candice, have won those prizes, the believablity factor has dropped several quotients. Honestly, I felt like I was reading about another hapless heroine, the one from New Jersey that's always blowing up cars. There was just too much "madcap adventure" feel about this book, and definitely not enough "plot". I'm hoping when I pick up the next one it's better, or that's the end of the series for me. Guess time will tell.


Wendy said...

I've read thru #9 and I can tell you that they continue to be light and fluffy but the fun is less and less with each book. You can stop - you have too many other things to read.

Wendy said...

I've read them all and #9 took me forever to get thru. They've lost the fun - you can stop now. You have too much other stuff to read to waste the time.