By Charles R. Hinckley
Augustus Chase has a unique ability. He is able to dream of future deaths. After he sees first a man and then a women die in his sleep, then read about their actual deaths after he tried to warn the victims, he decides to become a private investigator in order to help people. Chase’s first client, Frank, wants to know about his sister…who died when she was ten. His second client is the sister of the victim Chase saw before. Can Chase use his ability to solve the cases?
I accepted this book because I thought the premise interesting. However, once into it, I discovered this plot had more holes than Swiss cheese and more problems than my math teacher assigned in high school.
1. Chase doesn’t have total control over his ability, but discovers later that he’s akin to a psychic in that if he touches something personal he’ll go into the ‘dream state’.
2. Speaking of, he doesn’t like the word psychic yet that’s what he puts in his newspaper ad.
3. At the beginning of the book, he dreams a man dies. Then he dreams a woman dies. No time element as to when each died, so I’m assuming-as would be natural-that the man dies first. However, the man becomes the suspect in the woman’s death and no explanation to the time element is explained.
4. Chase is constantly unsure whether he wants to be a detective. (Probably should be in the Characters section, but I just wrote them down as I caught them.)
5. The time(s) he wants to be a PI, he resists Frank’s payments but doesn’t charge the sister of the woman who was killed.
6. He buys how-to books on private investigation, but apparently never reads them.
7. He is upset when people don’t believe his ability.
8. There’s an element to the mystery dealing with an experiment with a professor (which is completely unbelievable that the assistant wasn’t suspicious of all the down low attitude of the professor and code words having to be used.)
9. There’s another element that deals with a company and fraud, but I didn’t understand it and it wasn’t a big enough deal to care about because it wasn’t played up as such.
August Chase: 35, museum exhibition technician, attended NYU
Frank Cosh: 300 lbs., owns a cat, thin hair, gray beard, former answering service company owner
Carla Donati: sister is dead, nurse, tall, dark hair
Millar Milford: tin, long straight hair, wears glasses, divorced (or just about to be), computer techie, wealthy, owns a ‘67 Camaro
To be honest, I didn’t like anybody. Frank was all over the map going from desperation to philosophical. Allen was okay, but he was grumpy all the time. Carla sends out wrong signals for romance, then backs away when the moment is nigh. Chase gets angry at her a couple times because she won’t believe his abilities yet keeps coming back and doesn’t seem too affected by his attitude. She’s a part time nurse at places, but that isn’t explained properly enough and I thought her bouncing around was part of the mystery. Millar was okay but he has a cousin who is a cop and way over the top in playing the ‘bad cop’.
Millar was the only one who kept it constant. I did like the jibes Chase and he exchanged. Frank was, again, all over the place.
Unnecessary profanity. Titled chapters.
Some punctuation problems and a misspelled word here and there.
Basically, this entire book was a mess. I thought about Yellow Belt for awhile, but decided to go two steps lower.