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An agreeable psychic-puzzler/drama, from the author of the The Fallen Country (1986). When his genius/psychic brother Ben shoots himself, young J.J. Madigan suppresses the memory--he can't believe the brother he hero-worshipped would do such a thing. J.J.'s hippie-turned-yuppie parents, confused about why J.J. isn't grief-stricken, argue inanely. Then J.J. starts receiving computer messages from Ben, accurately predicting what J.J. has recently done. Is Ben really dead? or communicating from beyond the grave? J.J. flees to his psychic/medium aunt Casey in California, where he helps her run her sÉances. And he meets Zombie, a desperately unhappy girl (she turns out to be a drag addict) and sister of J.J.'s punk-rock idol Tygh. More cryptic messages from Ben follow--Ben confidently expects J.J. to follow in his footsteps and commit suicide; but gradually J.J. realizes that Ben wasn't perfect, wasn't always right. J.J., despite his love for Ben, may choose his own path. Intriguing stuff for about half, but then the focus slips from eye-grabbing psychic puzzles to more routine, schoolmarmish problem, solving; and the explanation for Ben's death--withheld till the end--is likely to disappoint nearly everyone. Appealing work, if weakly concluded, with some genuine insights into the YA world.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1987
ISBN: 1587151456
Publisher: Tot--dist. by St. Martin's