From Publishers Weekly
Richardson's clever ghost-busting follow-up to her solid urban fantasy debut (2006's Greywalker
) finds psychic Seattle PI Harper Blaine investigating a deadly lab-made spook. Pacific Northwest University professor and psychologist Gartner Tuckman is trying to replicate the results of an actual '70s Canadian psychokinesis experiment by the Owen group, whose participants appeared to create a poltergeist. Tuckman's assistant, Mark Lupoldi, provides fake phenomena to encourage the subjects' belief in their psychic abilities, but soon the experiment begins producing off-the-charts evidence of an actual specter. Tuckman suspects a participant of meddling with the results and hires Blaine to investigate. When Lupoldi is murdered, Blaine consults a number of experts, including a former vampire client, before slipping into the Grey spirit world to track the thought-entity who might be responsible. Richardson's view of the paranormal has a nice technological twist and features intriguing historical notes that lift this whodunit a cut above the average supernatural thriller. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Greywalker (2006), Richardson's debut novel, introduced the character of Harper Blaine, a private investigator who, after having been clinically dead for two minutes, now straddles the line between the living and the dead. With the ability to pass back and forth between this world and the Grey worldwhere monsters are real, and evil is not an abstract conceptshe is uniquely equipped to handle cases with paranormal connections. Here, Harper is hired to find out who has been faking results in a university-sponsored investigation into poltergeists. When (naturally) someone turns up dead, Harper must determine whether the killer is human or something else. Like its predecessor, this novel is only a partial success. It's as though Richardson takes it for granted that readers will buy into the Grey world and doesn't feel she has to work too hard to make it feel real. Consequently, her portrayal of the Grey world and its inhabitants lacks texture. Still, readers who like their mysteries laced with a dash of the paranormal may enjoy this one, if they keep their expectations in the mid range. Pitt, David