Sense of Deception
Psychic Eye Mystery #13
By Victoria Laurie
Author’s website: www.victorialaurie.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
In New York Times bestselling author Victoria Laurie’s newest Psychic Eye Mystery, Abby Cooper senses a convicted killer is innocent, but she’ll need hard evidence to save the woman before it’s too late…
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…
‘Sense of Deception’ is 13th in the Psychic Eye Mystery series, and it can be read as a stand-alone. The author does an excellent job of not only giving enough information about the characters to bring the reader into the action, but also drew this reader in from the first page and kept her riveted to it throughout. This is the first book I’ve read in Victoria Laurie’s highly successful series and it won’t be the last.
We open to Abby Cooper-Rivers being forcibly removed from the courtroom, hauled off to jail, kicking and screaming, after outing the judge presiding over the case she was at to testify for on behalf of the FBI. For whom she was consulting as a respected psychic. Oopsie. Not only did they lose their case, but a brutal murderer was back on the streets. Dutch, her beloved husband and member of an investigating FBI team, had to bring their attorney to get her released, but she spent the night in the slammer before writing a sincere apology to the judge.
Abby was in a cell in an overcrowded jail with a woman on death row who was awaiting her last appeal. Abby believed that the woman was telling the truth, and determined to help her win the appeal. How did Abby know the woman was innocent? Instead of asking any one of a dozen self-serving questions, she asked if Abby could look back in time to see who really killed her boy. Abby was determined to help her, no matter what. Because if Skylar Miller lost her last appeal, she would be put to death the night of the appeal for the death of her son, Noah – of which she was innocent.
Thus begins the most time-sensitive case that Abby and her partner, BFF Candice Fusco, have worked in their agency. Abby – Sundance to Private Investigator Candice’s Cassidy – have worked together for several years. Abby talks an attorney who had saved their bacon in the past, Calvin “Cal” Douglas, into providing pro bono legal work to replace the barely competent appeals attorney that Skylar had for years. Oscar, on vacation from the FBI team of her husband’s, also joins the case. They jump into the murder with all feet – who could be cruel enough to murder a 9-year-old boy in the cruel way it was done? And why?
This was definitely a tangled tale, from the blunders of the first investigative and defense team and the hostile arrogance of the lead detective to the life of addiction that Skylar had dragged herself up from to regain full custody of Noah. Full of surprises, there was a labyrinth of twists and turns. Even when I thought I had guessed who the real murderer was, I couldn’t find the motive to make it fit. Whoever the murderer was, that person was would not let Abby get to the bottom of it, even if it means killing her, too…And speaking of which, about the bad guy in the federal case? He had to be caught with before he killed again…and Abby had to lay low.
Abby and Candice are a force to be reckoned with; they are a wonderfully matched set of business partners. They and their FBI guys are fully-developed characters, a foursome who work hard and love well. Cal, Skylar, Detective Dioli, and Oscar, even Skylar’s ex, former in-laws, her mother (who testified against her?) are as developed as necessary for their roles. Even those involved with the case that got her tossed in jail were absolutely believable. Conversations flowed well, including those that Abby had with her beloved dachshund pup, Tuttle (Here’s to Lilly, Ms. Laurie! Awesome tribute that broke my heart before reading the first page!)
The plot was unique to me, as I don’t typically read paranormal novels, but the description sounded very interesting. This mystery far exceeded my expectations! Victoria Laurie successfully wrote an excellent book that was impossible to put down. Some scenes are hilarious while others sizzle like eggs on a hot griddle. The mysteries were both tangled masses for which pulling the right strand at the right time could bring the killers to justice. The characters worth rooting for, especially Skylar. The thought of her imminent death sentence twisted my heart, especially after learning more about her. I highly recommend ‘Sense of Deception’ to those who appreciate well-plotted, witty, yet complicated mysteries that end in a satisfying manner. Adults of any age will enjoy this story that at one moment can have the reader laughing out loud and the next fraught with tension from the next plot twist!