- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (September 17, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312202997
- ISBN-13: 978-0312202996
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,597,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ashes of Aries Hardcover – September 17, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
In her fifth astrological adventure (after 2000's Pisces Rising), psychic PI Elizabeth Chase faces an unusual and riveting mystery that will give pause to even the most ardent skeptics. When San Diego telecommunications mogul Frank Fielding's four-year-old son, Matthew, disappears, the Fieldings ask detective Bruce Loebman to call in Elizabeth for help. But before the unconventional sleuth, whom Loebman reluctantly consults, has a chance to focus on the case, a wildfire, fueled by the Santa Ana winds, ravages the exclusive community where the Fieldings live, destroying property and thousands of acres of land. When another fire breaks out, she discovers that it's the work of an arsonist who may also be Matthew's kidnapper. Dismissed by doubting Thomases, Elizabeth steps up her own investigation to find the little boy before it's too late. Her two Ph.D.s from Stanford and her prior psychic successes aren't necessary to make her a plausible, likable heroine, but they don't hurt. Her work with her shaman-mentor, the Luiseno Indian Sequoia, only adds to her credibility, as he teaches her to harness power from the natural world around her that the author describes so well. Lawrence effectively combines the earthly and the inexplicable in this fascinating page-turner, and its dramatic ending will delight committed fans as well as attract new ones. (Sept. 17)Anthony awards.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Psychic private eye Elizabeth Chase employs her particular skills to locate a kidnapped four-year-old San Diego boy and an arsonist responsible for a nearby terrible wildfire. Could arsonist and kidnapper be one and the same? A fine series.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Showing 1-7 of 12 reviews
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Lawrence is herself psychic and an inhabitant of the San Diego area, and definitely writes what she knows. Her pictures of wildfires and the horrors they bring are shattering and not for the tender of stomach, and her exposition, through Elizabeth, of what "real" psychic power is all about is clear and convincing: even if you start out as a skeptic, you may (like TV reporter Randy Twain) find yourself a convert by the end of the story. Unfortunately this fifth volume in the series was published in 2001 and no further sequels seem to be in sight; even the author's website gives no hint that she's working on anything new. So if you enjoy convoluted plots, a strong and sympathetic yet human female lead, and a touch of the weird, you'd better enjoy the ones you can get, including this; like Lawrence Alexander, the author of The Big Stick (A Theodore Roosevelt Mystery) and its sequels, Martha C. Lawrence at least goes out on a strong note.
Lawrence's writing in this, her fifth novel in the Elizabeth Chase mystery series, is literally as smooth as butter. She presents the story in such a manner that it captivates you and you're not aware of any stylistic maneuvers, a sure sign of a pro at work!
Elizabeth Chase continues her growth at all levels of life: emotional, spiritual, psychological, and physical.
The characters are vivid and true to life, once again with that dead-on-target dialogue for which Martha Lawrence has got to become famous! (After all, none other than authorial luminary Sue Grafton said to reserve a spot for Lawrence on the best seller list!)
I took "Ashes" with me to read while I waited on a brake job. This story had me so addicted that after I left the garage I kept it beside me on the front seat, and when traffic was backed up and I had to wait at red lights I would read! I got home and hurriedly finished the book, and I have to say it's even stronger than her previous efforts, a thoroughly pleasing read and a wonderful escape!
Once again Lawrence handles the tricky psychic angle with honesty and without dogma and "too pat" answers. (Being a professional psychic myself, I'm somewhat of an authority on that subject!)
I can't recommend "Ashes" highly enough, and I can't wait for the sixth in the series!!
Excelsior, my friend!
The author, a psychic herself, paints a convincing, if sometimes frustrating, picture of the psychic's skills - chancy, sometimes cryptic and hardly ever available when you need it. Lawrence tells a crisp, fast-paced story, free of New Age philosophizing. Chase is a down-to-earth investigator who relies at least as much on her interviewing and research skills as on less tangible abilities.
The child, Matthew Fielding, is the son of a telecommunications mogul. There's money, of course, and business tensions, a relative who desperately wanted a child, some angry Eco-terrorists, a gung-ho sheriff's deputy who might be a firebug. Chase doesn't hesitate to seek help from the experts - police, arson investigators, even an obnoxious reporter - and her case proceeds along comfortably conventional lines with helpful boosts from energy auras, telepathic advice and fragmentary visions.
There are a few cliched characters (the brilliant and feisty female arson investigator, for one) but Chase is appealing and her talents believable. Fire ratchets up the suspense and the climax pulls out all the stops.