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Review: Hindsight by Melanie Casey

on February 24, 2016

Hindsight2Hindsight (Cass Lehman & Detective Ed Dyson #1)
Melanie Casey
Pantera Press
2014 (originally 2013), 356p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {courtesy of the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Cass Lehman has a terrifying ‘gift’… She sees what others can’t…

Cass Lehman had the misfortune of being born into a family of extraordinary women with supernatural talents. Her mother sees the future, her grandmother is a healer and Cass has the less sexy talent of seeing the past… but not just any past events… Cass’s terrifying gift is triggered when she walks over a spot where someone has met their end in a sudden and brutal way. Not only does she see their death, but she feels it… she relives it.

So, for years, she’s hardly set foot outside… until now.

Spurred by a desire to have a life of her own, Cass decides to take her first tentative steps towards freedom only to find herself confronted by murder and mayhem in her sleepy hometown of Jewel Bay.

Taking a chance, she offers to help the local police track down the killer and finds herself thrust into working with the tormented and emotionally charged Detective Ed Dyson.

Together they battle to overcome his prejudice and her fear of using her talent aiming to stop a killer who’s been operating quietly and systematically in their midst for years…

Can Cass save the killer’s latest victim… and herself?

A good series can be my weakness. It doesn’t matter what genre it is half the time. I have this thing where I just love reconnecting with the same characters and being able to go back to them time and time again. Perhaps it’s a comfort thing? Although when the genre is crime and your heart is in your mouth, there’s probably not so much comfort in it!

This is the first novel in a series pairing a psychic and a cop together – probably not exactly a new combo, it’s an opposites attract sort of pairing that works well. Cass Lehman comes from a family with a long line of the females possessing different sorts of supernatural gifts. Cass has a gift that’s well, pretty gruesome. It’s a form of retrocognition where if she enters/encounters a place someone died violently, she experiences it as it happened to the victim. It makes going out hard because you’re never sure when you’re going to stumble on a place where someone died and it’s not something she has any control over. She can’t decide whether or not to open her mind and experience it, it will slam into her without warning. She’s lived her life almost as a recluse, rarely venturing into town and mapping ‘safe’ places, where no one has met a grisly end. Ed Dyson is a detective investigating a murder in a tiny town in South Australia when Cass volunteers her help. Ed is a bit of a mess, his wife Susan disappeared whilst pregnant several years ago and no trace of her has ever been found. Immediately upon meeting Cass and her family, Ed is confronted with more information about what has happened to Susan and it makes him angry and hostile, lashing out at Cass.

I’m a skeptic and I’ll freely admit it. I don’t really believe in psychic abilities….perhaps because I think there are too many fraudsters out there who may have masked those with any possible genuine ability. However I’m happy to read about it when it lends an interesting facet to a story and I think Cass’ particular…..gift? (saying that sounds a bit wrong when the poor girl has to experience violent deaths as if it were happening to her) adds quite an element of horror to the story as well as a unique way in which the detectives can acquire information. Cass and Ed don’t have an easy start to their working relationship, complicated by Ed’s unresolved issues and grief over the disappearance of his wife as well as his need to deal with Cass and her family’s abilities before they can settle forward. Cass is aware quite early on that she has some feelings for him that do stretch beyond the professional but she’s very inexperienced and would probably be content to never do anything about them.

The serial killer was suitably creepy and we got a little glimpse inside his mind throughout the story. I liked the way the narrative switched between Cass, Ed and the killer as I like getting more than one perspective in a crime novel. Cass provides the colour and a lot of internal thoughts, Ed is the police legwork and the pain of his wife’s disappearance and the killer is well, disturbing. The switches felt seamless though and helped tell the story in a more complete way so I think it definitely worked. The pacing was good and the ending was done pretty well. I found it refreshing that in a way, Cass was able to save herself inadvertently.

I really enjoyed this and I definitely want to see how things progress with Cass and Ed, especially now as he’s not really in limbo anymore. Hopefully I can get my hands on the next book soon.

8/10

Book #27 of 2016

AWWC2016

Hindsight is the 14th book for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016

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One response to “Review: Hindsight by Melanie Casey

  1. […] Melanie Casey, 7 reviews of 2 books. Here is a review of Hindsight from Bree @ 1girl2manybooks. […]

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