Eighteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin must once again use her unusual powers to unmask a killer in Zdrok’s follow-up to 2019’s Spectacle.
It’s 1889, two years since Nathalie, a morgue reporter for Le Petit Journal, learned that she could envision the last moments of a murder victim’s life by touching either the viewing pane in front of the body or the body itself. These powers resulted from blood transfusions by a controversial doctor, and the “gifts” conferred are different for each person, or Insightful. Nathalie’s gift is gruesome, but she enjoys working for police liaison Christophe as an Insightful adviser to help solve murder cases. Outside of work, Nathalie loves exploring the world showcases of the Exposition Universelle with her beau, Jules, also an Insightful, and her best friend, Simone, and her young man, Louis. When they stumble upon a severed head on a pedestal, they soon realize it’s only the beginning for a killer with a flair for the dramatic. The mystery takes a back seat to Nathalie’s personal growth as she struggles with her gift—which has its drawbacks—properly mourns for a friend, and weathers her institutionalized aunt’s decline. All main characters are white, but diversity can be found at the Exposition Universelle. The mystery is thin, but readers will enjoy exploring fin de siècle Paris with Nathalie and her spirited friends while they attempt to suss out a vicious killer.
An entertaining duology closer. (Paranormal historical thriller. 15-18)