This is the fourth novel written by George Shuman, starring Sherry Moore. I have read the first, second and now the fourth, I haven't read the third one yet. While it is not neccessary to read these in any particular order, it would benefit you to at least start with the first one. Shuman brings the character of Sherry to life and gives you time to like and care about her as a protagonist. Background information is more indepth in the first novel and you get a feel of how Sherry's life has come to be.
In this fourth novel, Sherry, who is not only beautiful and psychic, but blind to boot is given her sight back in a bizzarre chain of events that leaves her with more questions than answers. Sherry has a gift, or a curse, however you view it, of having the ability to touch a body and see the last 18 seconds of that person's memories. She doesn't always know what to do with this information or what her visions mean, but she has been able to help law enforcement officials on several occasions by providing crucial information they would otherwise not have access to. This story moves at breakneck speed and has only a few minor slow spots. George Shuman has created a character that you want to stand up and cheer for. Sherry has dreamed of having her sight back, but she soon finds that having the ability to see brings about its' own set of problems. It may even cost her her life.
If you have enjoyed Shuman's other Sherry Moore novels, you will love this one. If you haven't read any of them yet, go buy a copy of 18 Seconds, then after reading the first novel, sit back and bask in the excitement of Second Sight.
Second Sight is one of those novels that I found incredibly hard to get drawn into. In spite of the fact the characters are well written and the events are interesting I put this book down 32 times (yes I counted the turned pages I did to mark my place). When I put a book that is supposed to be a suspense book down that many times it means it really wasn't very suspenseful to me. That's too bad because I really wanted to love the book--it seemed to have all the things set in place for a great read but it just didn't come together enough for me to sustain the interest.
I think the first problem for me is the main character. She just doesn't seem that likeable sometimes. It's not that I didn't care *for* her it's just I didn't care what happened *to* her. Given that she is at the heart of the suspense plot that made for some unfortunately plodding reading. Sherry came off to me as selfish for the entire first half of the book--she makes some choices that leave you puzzled. I almost felt like her disability was supposed to be making up for her just unappealing personality. The second let down for me is that the "bad guys" become apparent pretty early on and, outside of one character, just do not appear villian like as everything is more about things that happened many years ago so that immediate sense or feeling you usually get in a novel of suspense is tempered. The plot was actually more political to me than suspenseful.
The third person point of view was just not very effective here. At time I could not figure things out or they seemed at odds with something earlier in the story. In particular surrounding Sherry's blindness--she didn't act like someone who had just regained sight. The neighbor gentleman seems like he would have a very interesting story but you never have it explained. The ending was just there. I could go on but won't.
I will say the pacing picked up about three fourths of the way through but it isn't enough for me to give more than 3 stars. In the end I found some enjoyment in it but not enough to make me want to read any more novels about the same character. I was actually disappointed because from the blurb this novel looked like it would be my summer favorite! I think fans of the previous novels will want to continue with this one and maybe this book would have been better for me with the background of the previous novels in place. That said I would be more likely to recommend this novel to friends and colleagues who enjoy political intrigue rather than suspense.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.
Synopsis: Stunningly beautiful psychic Sherry Moore's world has been draped in darkness for as long as she can remember. Though she has been blind since childhood, her extraordinary gift for seeing the last eighteen seconds of a deceased person's memory has helped solve numerous crimes and save countless lives. Her life has been anything but normal, but because of her relationship with Brian Metcalf, the Navy SEAL she met during a dramatic rescue on Mount McKinley, Sherry has never been happier. Then her exposure to deadly radiation changes everything.Unnerved about the radiation's possible aftereffects and suffering from optical migraines, Sherry checks herself into the hospital to undergo tests. All seemsnormal until they wheel in the body of one Thomas Monahan. Vivid, terrifying images from his memory flood her thoughts the moment she grasps his hand. She feels a connection take hold as she thrashes about on the gurney, finally letting out a bloodcurdling scream. When Sherry next opens her eyes, for the first time in thirty-two years, she can see.They call it a miracle. But for Sherry life with sight proves to be more complicated. She has to navigate the world anew, troubled by the agonizing, unanswered question: Who was this man and how had he enabled her to regain her vision? Enlisting the help of retired Admiral Garland Brigham, her confidant and best friend, Sherry doggedly begins to unravel this complicated history and unearths some startling revelations, beginning with the work of Edward Case.Case is a man used to getting his way. The CEO of pharmaceutical giant Case & Kimble, he has the nation's elite on speed dial. But unsettling rumors have circulated for years about the genesis of the company's stratospheric success, questioning how this upstart firm has gained prominence and grown to be a monolithic institution worth billions of dollars. How its drugs always seem to make it onto the market before those of its competitors. If the secrets to C&K's dominance are ever made public, they will destroy the empire Case has so carefully constructed. And he will stop at nothing to keep his domain intact.Flush with pounding action and shocking twists, Second Sight is the riveting story of an astounding heroine who, in delving into the darkest corners of the pharmaceutical trade, risks her life to set right an injustice buried deep in the past.
My thoughts: I stumbled upon this series quite by accident and have been very happy I did so. I love the idea of this woman who can see the last seconds of a person's life, when she is otherwise blind. She is a strong heroine and the paranormal aspects of the stories don't overwhelm the plot. Shuman knows how to add in twists and turns galore, and keep the reader guessing throughout the book. I highly recommend this series of books!
When I turned the last page of this book I said "WOW!" The last time I read a book that kept me reading non-stop like this one was "The Eye of the Needle" by Ken Follet.
George Shuman paints us a portrait of Sherry Moore, a woman who is blind since childhood, but can see the last 18 seconds of a dead person's life. She helps in criminal cases. After an accidental exposure to radioactive material during one of her investigations, her neurologist is proceeds to test her brain waves when she touches the hand of an old Korean War veteran who has died of an aneurysm. This encounter restores her vision and takes her and her best friend and neighbor Garland Brigham on a wild exploration into the dark side of human experimentation.
I could not stop reading this book. It gets better and better from the first page to the last page. With every turn of the page you wonder how they will get out of the situation that find themselves in. You start reading comfortable in your chair and are on the edge of your seat by the end.
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I look forward to reading more of this author's books.
I love suspense. I read the description and wanted to read the book.
As I started to read, I became confused. What I was reading seemed to have nothing to do with what the jacket said it was about. I actually stopped to examine the book to see if there had been a mistake. Getting to chapter two, I knew it wasn't a mistake. I was halfway through the book before it grabbed me and I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened.
I felt the story moving forward but continually wanting more. The story would hint at her childhood and then stop. Then 5 chapters later, mention it again. I just wanted to learn more, rather then glimpses here and there about certain key elements. I can't recommend it.
on January 2, 2011
Never before have I criticized an author or series as much as I've done this one. And normally at the first sign of discomfort, I walk away. My attitude is life is too short to read a bad book. There's too many good ones out there, so why do I continue? The bottom line is the story idea is sheer brilliance. Sherry Moore lost her sight at age five, but she has a psychic gift and that's she can take the hand of a dead person and see the last eighteen minutes of that person's life. Also, I flat out love Sherry Moore. The author has done a good job of connecting the reader to this multidimensional character. He's done the same with the other characters as well, so what's the problem? With each book, there's been something different. That said, my complaints with this book are far less than with books two and three.
In this latest installment, Sherry undergoes treatment for radiation. About the same time, she touches the hand of a cadaver and for the first time in her adult life, she can see. No one is sure if this is a miracle, the radiation or what. Sherry suspects her sight has something to do with the cadaver and curiosity moves her towards finding the answer. Her path leads her straight into danger. Her enemy is Edward Case, the CEO of a pharmaceutical giant. What she stumbles across could be the end of her and anyone who learns of his secrets.
Although the story is a bit disjointed at the beginning, it smooths out somewhat. However, the soapbox theme returns. This time, it's with the evils of pharmaceutical companies. Don't get me wrong. Edward Case is the perfect villain, but I feel the thoughts of the author shining through more than the thoughts/feelings of his characters.
Another thing I'd have like to see more of is Sherry's personal life. There was some, but not with her fiancé. There was more summarizing about her feelings as well as what happened between this book and the last. I never got to enjoy their relationship.
Rating this one is hard. I wanted to give it a four out of five, but that ending was simply too far out there for me to believe. Even with a three out of five, I recommend it for readers who have read the first three books. Each one builds on the last and the author doesn't waste a lot of time with background information from previous books. Here's the series in order:
1. 18 Seconds (2006)
2. Last Breath (2007)
3. Lost Girls (2008)
4. Second Sight (2009)
Before I picked up Second Sight, I had never read anything by George Shuman, and certainly hadn't read the first 3 novels featuring Sherry Moore. A few times along the way I felt as though I was just 'missing' something, and without being able to pinpoint exactly what that was, I'd make a wild guess and say that it was the background story covered in the earlier novels. Otherwise, I would have to admit that you honestly wouldn't HAVE to read the first 3 books in order to *get* this one, but I couldn't help but think that the overall entertainment factor would have been upped if only a little if I had done so. (did that make sense?)
I initially really liked the story as I began Second Sight, being a big fan of the TV show Medium, I felt like I was in familiar territory--if not slightly altered. But slowly (at first) I began to notice what came across to me as characters making choices that simply came across to me as a step or two away from just plain stupid. Another reviewer noticed the exact same thing I did: why would the bad guy continually pass up opportunities to kill if not to keep the story moving because otherwise Second Sight would be nothing more than a slightly extended Short Story. I also felt that the unnecessary informational dumping quite simply distracted the story to HUGE degree at times. Some may argue that other authors do it too--which is true, however when other authors such as Michael Crichton loads us up on technical info during one of his novels, that information serves the story as a whole (for the most part anyway) but here, it was simply useless and entirely distracting (well, it was to me). By the time the story got back on track, I was having a hard time showing interest at all in order to just finish the novel...NEVER a good sign.
Overall I'm a bit torn after finishing the book: on the one hand, I enjoyed it--on the other, I felt the story was simply Under-written...making it quite underwhelming. If you can see past some of these obvious problems that I had with the book, you may just find Second Sight to be well worth your time--otherwise you may feel a bit cheated. All things considered, I doubt I'll be looking up the other novels in this series.
In "Second Sight" Washington Metro Police veteran George D. Shuman tells a so-so tale of suspense that provides a momentous event that will lead to a change of lifestyle for his recurring lead character. Otherwise, although the mystery has some intriguing implications regarding MIA soldiers from the Korean War era, the plot line and its climax comes with no great surprises and provides at best a mediocre read that stalls in its opening pages and plods to its conclusion with the villain already identified from the get go.
When I began reading this novel, I did not realize that it is the fourth novel in a series featuring the beautiful (of course) but blind psychic protagonist Sherry Moore. Utilized by the police to help solve crimes, Moore's gift borders on the stranger than strange that Shuman valiantly attempts to explain with some medical facts that act as a quasi-scientific proof. Moore's ability allows her to tap into the last eighteen seconds of a deceased person's memory by just holding on to the corpse's hand. Apparently, in books 1 through 3, Moore has already had a few adventures that lead her to meet love-of-her-life Navy Seal Brian Metcalf, detail the friendship she relies on most heavily in this story, Admiral Garland Brigham, and maintain a certain celebrity of which the paparazzi make use to sustain their livelihood. However, all of that changes when Sherry, exposed to a massive dose of radiation and undergoing emergency treatment crosses paths with the body of a mental facility inmate. Contact with his hand catapults her mind into a frenzied state and somehow kicks off the process that returns her sight.
What follows is Moore's subsequent recovery and her first attempts at adaptation into a seeing world. A further exploration of the inmate's last conscious thoughts brings Sherry and Garland into the nefarious Cold War scenario of mind control and one drug company's bloodsucking executive that will do anything to maintain his stranglehold on his billion dollar marketplace.
Bottom line? In George D. Shuman's "Second Sight" protagonist Sherry Moore regains her sight and almost loses her life in this adequate thriller that explores a conspiracy involving the rise of a major drug company during the heyday of the Korean War. Loose ends abound within sophomoric prose that does not add much fizzle to a predictable ending. Most probably meant to be filler for the next installment where the recovery of Moore's sight spells some adjustment of her psychic skills and/or her lifestyle. Recommended to only those who like the series.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
I was expecting a nail-biting suspenseful read. But the suspense, what was there, was weak. It's less like a thriller and more like a Summer stroll in the park with good friends. Nevertheless, this is an interesting novel. Sort of corporate conspiracy and cover-up, illegal government wartime research, combined with some Sci-fi tech thriller elements.
The characters are "real " They come alive easily enough. I found myself liking most of them.
I wouldn't call it an out and out "page-turner," as others have, but it did keep me interested. However, if I rate the conflict and suspense in the movie "Jurassic Park," for example, as an 8 or 9, on a scale of 1-10; this novel would be a 3 or 4 to me at the most. One reviewer on the slipcover called the story "supernatural suspense." I wouldn't really call it "supernatural," but I would agree more with the another reviewer who described it as "psychological suspense." Well, "suspense" is pushing it.
I would have appreciated more background on Mr. Bingham early-on: So that when he starts lecturing frequently in scenes on various aspects of war history, etc., up to page 146, when those lectures turn into long paragraphs, he would seem credible to me. The author gave considerable information on every main character, including the villains--but with Bingham all I had to go on from chapter 2 was that he is the protagonist's neighbor and long-time confidant. I wonder why. I'm sure the author had his reasons, but I failed to see the need for withholding helpful background on this key character.
Also, the author pops in and out of the heads of his characters like "musical chairs" and quite subtly. I'm reading along and then abruptly I think, Wait a minute, whose eyes and I looking out of now? Maybe that's a recent avant-garde way to write fiction scenes, but I'm used to the more traditional and reader-friendly style of sticking to one character per scene. It's simpler and the story has more clarity. For me, the jumping around from character to character rather arbitrarily jars and interrupts my enjoyment of the story.
With those exceptions noted above, a pretty-good read, at times enjoyable. And, the author's ideas are brilliant and well thought out.
This is the 4th book in Shuman's Sherry Moore series and I enjoyed reading it the most by far. Each of the prior three books have been okay, with each one improving over the last.
Shuman tells more of the back story in "Second Sight" so readers that are just now getting started on the series will be much more likely to know what's going on. The characters keep getting fleshed out more and have become much more multi-dimensional than prior books.
I enjoyed the story premise, with the secret army base, insane asylum, human experimentation, Moore regaining her sight, mind control experiments, and more. There was a lot going on, as in previous books, but I thought Shuman handled the details well.
Like the previous three books in the series, the ending was rather abrupt and could have been extended out a bit for the sake of story clarity. But, all in all, I liked "Second Sight" the best of all the books to date and will continue to read the series to find out what happens to Sherry Moore and all her friends.