THE VISIONARY by Don Passman


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California lawyer Passman (All You Need to Know About the Music Business, not reviewed) debuts in fiction with a psychological thriller about a strange young woman who sees (some) things before they happen. Lisa Cleary is getting close to breaking through the glass ceiling at her accounting firm. Ambitious, industrious, clever, she can see the outlines of a bright future. But then she begins to see other things, dark things, terrifying things. Lisa appeals for help to psychiatrist-lawyer-author Dr. Michael Rennick; she’s read a book of his and is convinced he has the insights that can rescue her. Coincidentally, Michael’s help is also being sought by Danny Talon, an LAPD detective in the middle of a particularly harrowing murder investigation: three single women in their 20s have been killed and mutilated by one of those brilliant if demented crazies who bulwark contemporary suspense fiction. Lacking any semblance of a clue, Talon desperately needs a psychological profile to work with. Because one of the slain young women was a friend, Michael is at first unwilling to get involved. Besides, he has a lot on his plate—work, of course, but beyond that a problematical love affair in dire need of attention. Then Lisa’s “visions” begin to connect to the deaths Talon is investigating. She sees crime scenes, murder weapons, a shadowy shape that might actually be the killer. Michael is reluctant to bring the emotionally fragile Lisa into the case, but he feels he has no choice: lives are at stake. Michael and Talon fully agree that their crazy is just warming up, and they’re right. Now Lisa conjures up an intended victim who can be saved only if Michael and Talon outrace the killer. The plotting is certainly competent, but lacking stronger writing to lift this above average, it’s just another big book about serial killers.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-446-52159-0
Page count: 448pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1999


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