Speak of the Devil
Signet, Sep 2008, $7.99
In the national forest town of Shadow Hills just above Los Angeles, Greer Sands has always hid her psychic skills until her friend Whitney’s stepdaughter Joy was endangered and local bank manager Leah Falconer too. She came out into open to save the girl and Leah; shockingly her seventeen year old son Joshua displayed the same abilities for the first time, but he remains uncomfortable so they hide his skill to see the future through visions from everyone else (see EYE OF THE BEHOLDER).
At a baby shower for her pregnant friend Jenny, Greer sees a devastating fire threaten her friends and their family. Meanwhile when Joshua meets Simon, he envisions danger and feels a deep need to keep the teen safe. As the community is divided between development and status quo, Greer fears for her friends especially Jnny.
The background serves as a contrast to the feeling that doom is coming to Shadow Hills and the mother and son psychic team who know it is coming feel helpless to prevent it although they hope to keep everyone safe. The relationship between Greer and Joshua augments the strong story line as his newly discovered psychic abilities add tension between them since he still has not come to grips with the gift he does not want; the responsibility is overwhelming. Although the heroine’s female friends overwhelm at times the plot, each is fully developed and unique while adding to the sense that a wildfire will destroy the town and much more. Readers will taste the fear of wildfires (see HELL ON EARTH by David L. Porter to understand how gripping in reality this is and how much Shari Shattuck captures this fear factor) in a deep paranormal thriller.