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All Seeing Eye Mass Market Paperback – July 31, 2012


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (July 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451652224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451652222
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.1 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rob Thurman is the author of the Cal Leandros series, the Trickster series, and the Korsak Brothers novels, and has been a Goodreads Choice, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice and an Eliot Rosewater Award nominee. Rob’s work is dark, nonstop action from beginning to end, rife with purely evil sarcasm as sharp as a switchblade—and probably nearly as illegal. Contact the author at RobThurman.net and @Rob_Thurman. 

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1

A lost shoe. That’s how it began.

It was nothing more or less than that. A shoe, just one small shoe.

At first, I didn’t recognize it, although I should have. I’d seen it hundreds of times on the front porch or lying in the yard, its shine dulled by red dust. Tess was a typical five-year-old, careless with her things. Not that she had many things to be careful with. The pink shoes had been her only birthday present. I’d been with Mom when she’d picked them out at the secondhand store in town. She’d paid two dollars for them, but that didn’t stop me from thinking she’d gotten ripped off. Pink patent leather with bedraggled ribbon ties and rhinestone starbursts on the sides, they were ugly as hell and louder than Aunt Grace’s good church dress.

Tessie loved them, of course. She wore them everywhere and with everything, even when we went blackberry picking. With hands stained berry purple and hair in lopsided pigtails she’d done up herself, she would skip along in denim overalls, shirtless, ignoring the thorn scratches on her arms, and beam at the sight of those damn awful shoes.

That’s where I was walking home from, selling the blackberries. I had a stand up at the main road. It wasn’t much to look at, a few boards I’d clapped together. A strong wind could take it down and had once or twice in a good old Georgia thunderstorm. I sold paper bags full of plump, gnat-ridden berries for a dollar to people driving by. Sometimes Glory and Tess hung around and helped, but usually not. Five-year-old twin girls don’t have much patience for sweltering in the sun in the hopes of making a couple of bucks. Besides, today was a school day. Glory was at kindergarten. Tess, with a bad case of chicken pox and spotty as a Dalmatian, was stuck at home, and I was skipping. I’d get my ass busted for it, no way around that, but it was for a good cause. A skinny teenager, I was two years away from my license and probably four years away from filling out. If I ever wanted to date, money was all I was going to have going for me. Cast-off clothes and home haircuts weren’t the way to any cheerleader’s heart, not in my school, anyway. Not that cheerleaders were the be-all and end-all of what I wanted out of life. They weren’t, but they’d do until graduation.

Mom worked bagging groceries; it was the same place she’d worked since she dropped out of high school pregnant with me. Boyd, my step-dad, worked on holding the couch down. He was on disability, a “bad back.” Yeah, right. I remembered when he’d gotten the news. It was beer and pizza with his buddies for a week. You would’ve thought the fat bastard had won the lottery. That bad back, along with a near-terminal case of laziness, might have kept him from working, but it didn’t keep him from other things. I rubbed the swollen lump on my jaw as I walked and then fingered the four dollars in my pocket. I liked the feel of that a lot better.

“Dirt poor” wasn’t a new phrase, not in these parts, but it was a true one. That wasn’t going to be me, though. I sold blackberries, delivered papers in a place where most houses were at least half a mile apart, and had an after-school job at the same grocery as my mom. It was hard work, and there wasn’t much I hated more than hard work. But I did like money. One day I was going to figure out how to get one without doing too much of the other. I had plans for my life, and they didn’t involve rusted-out cars or jeans permanently stained red by Georgia mud. I had plans, all right, and plans required money. But it wasn’t going to be made by sponging off the government like Boyd. No, not like that sad sack of shit.

He was lazy. I could swallow that. No one knows lazy like a fourteen-year-old kid. But if I could make myself work, so could he. Instead, he squatted on the couch, scratching his balding head and blankly watching whatever channel happened to be coming in that day through our crappy antenna. He yelled a lot at the girls and me, during the commercials. And on occasion, if he was drunk or bored enough, he would lever himself off the worn cushions to back up his bark with some bite. He was careful not to break any bones. Boyd might not be smart, but he wasn’t stupid, either. Coyote-sharp cunning lay behind the cold blue eyes. That same cunning held his large fists from doing the type of permanent damage that would draw the eye of the police. He hadn’t touched the twins yet, and he wouldn’t. I wouldn’t let the son of a bitch get the chance. Girls were different. Girls were good … well, I amended as I scratched the bite on my calf, mostly good.

As for me, black eyes, bruises, some welts. No big deal. Teenage boys were troublemakers, right? We needed keeping in line. I might not have believed Boyd about that, but my mom didn’t say a word when he pounded the message home. She’d only smooth my hair, bite her lip, and send me off with ice wrapped in a worn dish towel. She was my mom. If she went along with it, it must be true. Boys needed discipline, and a good smack upside the head was the usual way to go about it. I told a kid at school that once, not thinking anything of it. Why would I? It was the way things were, the way they’d been as long as I could remember. But the look that kid gave me … it made me realize, for the first time, that wasn’t the way things were, not always. And when he called me trash, I realized something else. We were trash, and trash hit each other. It was the way of the world. The law of the trailer park. Being trash, I promptly punched that smug punk in the nose so he’d know what it was like to be me.

I didn’t hate Boyd. He wasn’t worth hating. I did despise him, though. He was worth that. A mean-spirited, beery-breathed sponge that did nothing but suck up money. He hadn’t even wanted to make Tess lunch and take her temperature for a couple of days, but he gave in rather than have Mom miss work and bring home a day less paycheck. He hadn’t wanted to be bothered, that was Boyd all over. Just couldn’t be bothered about anything. Tess and Glory were hell on wheels, no getting around that, but taking care of your kids is supposed to come with the territory. Sure, Tess chattered nonstop from sunup to sundown about anything and nothing, while Glory was sneaky and wild as a feral cat, but that’s who they were. You had to accept it. That’s family. I knew I’d done a lot of accepting in my time. The bite that itched on my calf was courtesy of Glory, and the cartoon Band-Aid over it was from her twin. Two halves of a hellacious whole.

I was heading home in the lazy afternoon, still idly scratching the Glory bite, when I first saw the gleam of pink. I’d cut through our neighbor’s property, twenty-five acres of scrubby grass, black snakes, and the foundation of a hundred-years-gone icehouse. Rumor was a plantation had been somewhere around there in the day. Now there was only scattered rock and an abandoned well.

The neon flash came from a foot-long scraggle of yellowing weeds. Hideously bright and a shade found nowhere in nature, it caught my eye. Curiously, I moved toward it, stomping my feet to scare off any snakes. As I bent over to study it, the smear of color finally shifted into a recognizable shape. A typically girlie thing, it was cradled in the grass as bright and cheerful as an Easter egg. Tessie’s shoe.

She’d lost it. When had that happened? It was far from the house. Yet Tess had lost her shoe way out here. I reached out and picked it up. The plastic of it was shiny and sleek against my skin. The only scuff was on the toe, and I traced a finger over it. It weighed nothing in my palm, less than a feather, it was so small. Tess’s favorite shoe, and she’d lost it.

But …

That was wrong.

My grip spasmed around the shoe until I heard the crack of a splitting sole. It was all wrong. Tess hadn’t lost her shoe. The shoe had lost her. I had lost her. Tessie was gone. Smothered in water and darkness, her wide blue eyes forever open, her hands floating upward like white lilies as if she were hoping someone would pull her up. No one had. My sister was gone.

God, she was gone.

How did I know? Easy. It was as simple as the river being wet, as obvious as the sky being blue. Unstoppable as a falling star.

The shoe told me.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Lmb on August 12, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I know that it's practically blasphemous that I didn't like this but it just didn't work for me for a bunch of reasons. I don't think that I'm a Rob Thurman kinda gal as I tried reading the Leandros brothers & really struggled and DNF book 3 of that series. I thought I would try it again at some point but after reading this, I know I won't bother.

I really wanted to like this more than but it was a mixed bag and mainly I found it predictable (what? yes...I know but it was & I'll get into that), convoluted and tedious.

I am surprised at the high marks but I'm guessing that's for the end more than the overall structure which started off great but ended really poorly IMO.

There are some really great parts due to the fact that when she strips it back, tells more of the story and less of the MC's every emotion or thought, Thurman creates some really wonderful prose and imagery which keep it moving. Some bits are so strong that I want to underline them & put them on my quotes wall.

The thing with me & Thurman though is that I think she gets too descriptive & repetitive esp. portraying the MC's angst. This is where it started to stall for me at the 30% mark. The MC is extremely similar to the character of her other series, Cal Leandros and since he bored me with all of his constant emo angst, it's no wonder Jackson did too.

Both MC's are a bit too paranoid of an anti-hero than I'm attracted to because it just comes across as flippant and cavalier when we all know that down deep the character doesn't mean it because it's a defense mechanism. It keeps me from getting fully engrossed & keeps me at a distance because I find it treads water in the excuse for a self-pity party & really, if I don't care about the characters, esp.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By N. Gargano VINE VOICE on August 1, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book. I started it this morning, and could not stop reading until I had finished it.

I adored the main character from the beginning, his voice was so captivating, even with him telling you he was not exactly on the up and up. As the story flowed and continued, I found myself not being able to wait to see what was going to happen to him next. There were surprises, and even when something turned out that I was expecting, there was an excitement to it that kept me reading.

The main character has a psychometric ability that seemed to manifest after a tragedy in his life. It was so interesting, and his cynicism in anything paranormal, added so much to his snark, and his character. Rob Thurman does snark and one liners with the best of them, and she continues that here. I laughed out loud, got teary eyed and just basically enjoyed this book.

I read it so fast, since I had to see what was going to happen, I plan on reading it again. I will slow down and enjoy the language and the great story telling again.

Not one to miss.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By McBeth on September 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I will admit I am a big Cal Leandros fan so it was a good bet I would enjoy a new strong male character from Rob Thurman and needless to say, he delivers. Our hero, Jackson Lee has special gifts of course but Thurman only reveals them layer by layer as we discover a character that is not so much a psychic as a psychic historian. With a touch, all is revealed to Jack and sometimes that all is more than his psyche can bear. Thurman peels back Jackson's history in fits and starts and does it with great aplomb, masterfully spinning a fascinating tale of government intrigue and human frailty. The main plot ending is telegraphed a bit and one villain especially easy to spot but such guess work does not ruin the effect of the reveal. For me, a fascinating aspect to the character is the effect seriously sociopathic and psychopathic personalities have on his personal physical and mental well being; not good. The fact that his unique talent can be exploited by governments and their military as well as the gangster element of every nation, should make life more than a little interesting for Jackson in the future and with a closing twist Rob sets us up for a sequel that I anticipate to be even more exiting.
Great read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Hwaet on July 31, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Four hours ago, I turned on my Kindle and started reading. I had not planned on spending the whole morning reading, but once I opened the first page, I was reluctant to stop. Jack has a distinctive voice, and his psychometry "disability" flows over him and any reader. Don't think psychometry parlor tricks. The range of characters he meets and the types of situations kept me speeding on. I'm looking forward to re-reading the novel in a more normal fashion!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah E. Bewley on May 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read a few of the other reviews of this book, both positive and negative. I just finished the book, and my response to it is very positive, and perhaps I can shed some light on some of the negatives noted.

The main character, Jackson Lee Eye seems to not be as well liked as say Cal and Niko Leandros. There is far less humor to him, and to the book in general. I think this may put some of Thurman's regular readers off the character. However, Jackson's personality is completely in keeping with the experience and life this man must lead. I found him interesting. Did he react the way I'd like him to? Not always, but that's not a negative. That's a positive. It means the character remains firmly within the person he's supposed to be, and within the universe created here.

I like the way things tie in. The past coming back to affect the future. While I was quick to pick up on one of the characters who turns out to be a bad guy, I did not figure out the nuances of the partnerships/relationships that existed in the book that would ultimately be revealed to us. I really liked Hector Allgood. Just as I had really liked Charlie Allgood earlier in the book. I thought they were both fully realized characters.

The mystery is convoluted, but with purpose. There are many cross-purposes here because this is a major scientific experiment that has the possibility of making someone's career. It's applications (military and otherwise) leave it open to a wide variety of possible outcomes.

The revelations of Jackson's morals and of what really happened to his sister Tess were well drawn, and sometimes surprising.

I found the book to really be an excellent cross of paranormal and thriller.
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