Sense of Deception
A Psychic Eye Mystery, Book #13
By Victoria Laurie
Author Website: www.victorialaurie.com
A ticked-off judge has tossed Abby in the slammer for contempt of court, and during her brief but unpleasant stay she learns the story of a condemned woman who is facing a far more serious sentence. Skylar Miller has been found guilty of murder and faces the death penalty. Everyone believes she’s guilty, including her own family and her ex-husband—everyone, that is, except Abby, whose finely honed intuition tells her this woman doesn’t belong behind bars.
With the help of her husband Dutch and her friend Candice, Abby launches into her own investigation to clear Skylar and find the real killer. But after a final appeal is denied and Skylar’s attorney scrambles for a stay of execution, time is running short—and the list of suspects keeps growing. There’s no margin for error as the life of an innocent woman hangs in the balance… (Goodreads)
Sense of Deception, the lucky thirteenth installment in the Psychic Eye Mystery series, is an exciting detective race against time.
Professional psychic and FBI consultant Abby Cooper Rivers is tossed in jail for contempt of court and finds herself sharing a cell with convicted murderer Skylar Miller. Abby believes Skylar when she says she did not kill her son Noah, but Skylar is awaiting her final appeal, and if she loses it means almost immediate execution. Abby feels that she must clear Skylar’s name, and time is running short – she has 10 short days. There are other things that require Abby’s attention, too. A serial killer may go free if the FBI does not find more evidence, and FBI agent and friend Oscar is in need of a serious lifestyle makeover. Abby, partner Candace, husband Dutch, lawyer Cal, and Oscar all work together to find the true killer before time runs out.
For no good reason, I have gotten away from reading the Psychic Eye series, but it was easy to catch up with the characters and situations in Sense of Deception. The story had me hooked from the very first page. Can you go wrong with an outspoken psychic thrown into a cell regretting that she chose not to wear underwear today? As one can imagine, Abby is kind of a hoot. She is definitely passionate about who and what she believes in. She is spunky and tenacious, and if I ever find myself in a jam, I want her on my side. Her friendship and partnership with Candace rings true, and her newly married state with Dutch is sweet. The supporting characters, including Oscar and those central to this book are well developed and interesting. I felt Skylar’s pain in losing her son, and her history of hitting rock bottom only to overcome it and lose her son is heartbreaking. And, how horrible is it to have your own mother testify against you?
I consider this series to be a bit darker than the average cozy mystery. The crimes are a little grittier, and there is some “language” (Abby’s swear jar could probably finance a new car), but it still stays true to the genre’s bones. The violent death of a child is sometimes hard to stomach, but Laurie handles it deftly and with sensitivity. I figured out whodunit pretty early on, but I did not untangle his/her motive until almost the end. There are enough viable suspects, motives, and scenarios to keep my attention. Though this is a paranormal mystery, I appreciate that Abby relies mostly on good old fashioned detecting than psychic intuition.
Filled with witty banter, suspense, and a solid detective tale, Sense of Deception is a fun read. I recommend it to fans of paranormal mysteries and to those who like their cozies edgy.