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FEAR ITSELF by Barrett Schumacher

FEAR ITSELF

By Barrett Schumacher

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-765-30130-X
Publisher: Forge

Parapsychology thriller set in San Francisco; Cowhollow, Tennessee; and Alamosa, Colorado.

Reed Haler, a San Francisco University research scientist in genetics who’s seeking a grant from the National Institutes of Health, takes his wife Devrie on a camping trip. Devrie, a grade-school teacher who has psychic powers Reed has no faith in, has probably saved the life of one of her students—and has certainly improved his focus on his school studies. Devrie keeps a journal filled with cryptic sayings that come to her from she knows not where. Two years earlier, she predicted the Gulf War to the very day it began, and now she previews that she’s pregnant and will have a daughter. But on the camping trip she’s knifed to death by a monstrous man in a ski mask. Looking through her journal, Reed finds clues to her death. When he sees a lady psychic on who has led the police to a dead body, he takes the journal and drives cross-country to Cowhollow (accompanied by a lost Labrador Retriever he and Devrie adopted on their camping trip) to visit the psychic, who channels and interprets some of the plot turns that lie ahead for Reed. On the road home, following signals in the journal, he stops in Alamosa, where he meets divorced Jessica Morraine, a pediatrician who hopes to build a pediatrics hospital and has a seven-year-old daughter, Lucy, who likes Reed immensely. In Alamosa, Reed looks into the murder of a Dr. Alana Kieran five years earlier, since Alana is the name he and Devrie had planned to give their daughter. Dr. Kieran’s ghost and other strange and fearful events befall him in the town, with the rather foreseeable arrival of the serial killer of Devrie and bad news for Jessica and Lucy.

Far from stunning but steadily gripping: a debut with a psychic climax that suggests why the Greater Powers pour such darkness onto Reed.