A rabbi’s 75-year-old mother develops her psychic abilities to catch the culprit behind a brutal attack in this mystery, a first novel for King under this pseudonym.
In spite of being widowed three times, Adele Rothstein lives a good life. She has two full-grown kids; one’s a rabbi at the local synagogue. Adele may not pay much attention to God, but God pays attention to her when he gives her, at age 75, her life’s mission: to help people using her psychic abilities. When she spots a literal black cloud engulfing young Sol Wiseman and learns that Sol’s mother was attacked and now lies comatose, Adele decides to help him find the attacker. While an elderly woman doesn’t usually star in suspense novels, this twist works well. Adele has a sharper wit and more energy than many people half her age. Still, several younger characters—including her rabbi son—object to her involvement. Adele has her faults—she fails to acknowledge that long-lost-love Manny left her simply because he loved someone else—but these minor sins give her depth and believability. Most characters are well-defined, including Adele’s two love interests and Sol, her sleuthing partner. Sol resolves to find his mother’s attacker, but he is also like any other teenage boy who finds his little brother annoying and thinks about sex constantly. The mystery maintains its momentum. Plenty of clues suggest the culprit’s identity, and a few of these lead in the right direction, but many send the reader off on red herrings. One is left guessing almost to the point of the unveiling.
A page-turning mystery with romance, humanity, standout characters and a heroic 75-year-old psychic as the lead.