Acclaimed mystery writer Phyllis Whitney combines New Age mysticism and a rural mountain setting in her latest suspense novel. Heroine Christy Loren, daughter of a famous psychic channeler, is troubled by strange visions that have haunted her since she used her clairvoyant powers to locate victims murdered near her home on Long Island. Attempting to distance herself from her problems, Christy seeks the comfort and solitude of her aunt’s home in the Blue Ridge foothills. She is confronted instead with the strange tensions within her aunt’s community of friends, who have been upset by the death of one of their members and the disappearance of another.
Christy is especially drawn to the missing woman’s son Donny and his father, Hayden Mitchell. In her efforts to help them locate Deirdre Mitchell, Christy receives confusing impressions of hidden evil when she comes in contact with Deirdre’s favorite crystal, her scarf, and her discarded caftan. As she struggles to make sense of the clues and to understand the extent of her own powers, Christy becomes less fearful of her premonitions and more convinced of the urgency of her search. The death of a second neighbor under mysterious circumstances and the sudden reappearance of Deirdre bring the mystery to an unexpected climax.
Whitney’s narrative is strong and draws the reader along despite a rather weak romantic subplot and the inclusion of New Age paraphernalia that seems incidental to the plot. Her use of an unnamed character’s interior monologue to frame each chapter brings additional suspense to this psychological thriller. Unfortunately this technique puts the reader in the unusual position of knowing more than the clairvoyant protagonist does. Still, New Age adherents and Whitney fans alike will find much to enjoy in this novel.