Murder and kidnaping are only the tip of the iceberg in this extravagant, yet soberly plotted, tale of parapsychology run amok. Three years ago, Mira Morales’s husband Tom walked into a convenience store at the wrong moment and was shot to death by a thief wearing lime-green shoelaces. Now psychic Mira’s just had a horrific vision of another killing. The victim this time is criminologist/shrink Andrew Steele, who’d be renowned for his pioneering work on the Delphi project if it hadn’t been kept top secret. And for good reason: Delphi had sought out convicts with psychic powers, trained them as spies and killers for the CIA, and toppled the Carter presidency. Now three escaped Delphi subjects—telepath Vic Indrio, remote viewer Eddie Manacas, and telekinetic Hal Bennet, who sports lime-green shoelaces—have joined forces for a bad-psychics’ reunion. Their old handler Steele is their first target, and wily incoming FBI deputy director Lenora Fletcher (whom they accurately predict will be drawn into the case) their second. Meantime, though, Hal Bennet has big plans for Steele’s wife Rae, whom he spirits off to his shack in the Everglades, planning to woo her without informing her that her husband no longer presents an obstacle. Hal’s ability to reach into the minds of his enemies and victims, making them do whatever he wants or causing them blinding pain, makes him one scary guy. Even scarier is the prospect that the allegedly good guys—Rae Steele, Mira Morales (whose grandmother is also on hand to display her psychic powers), about-to-be-riffed Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Wayne Sheppard, ruthless careerist Lenora Fletcher, and Richard Evans, Fletcher’s Deep Throat in the CIA—are so consumed with infighting that they’ll never be able to fend off all the bad karma. MacGregor (Mistress of the Bones, 1995, etc.) pulls out all the stops—you’ll find more psychics here than in the year-end issue of the National Enquirer—yet still manages to keep the pot boiling, if not quite believably, until the final surprise.

Pub Date: June 1, 1998

ISBN: 1-57566-266-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Kensington

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1998

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An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.


A group of strangers who live near each other in London become fast friends after writing their deepest secrets in a shared notebook.

Julian Jessop, a septuagenarian artist, is bone-crushingly lonely when he starts “The Authenticity Project”—as he titles a slim green notebook—and begins its first handwritten entry questioning how well people know each other in his tiny corner of London. After 15 years on his own mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he begins the project with the aim that whoever finds the little volume when he leaves it in a cafe will share their true self with their own entry and then pass the volume on to a stranger. The second person to share their inner selves in the notebook’s pages is Monica, 37, owner of a failing cafe and a former corporate lawyer who desperately wants to have a baby. From there the story unfolds, as the volume travels to Thailand and back to London, seemingly destined to fall only into the hands of people—an alcoholic drug addict, an Australian tourist, a social media influencer/new mother, etc.—who already live clustered together geographically. This is a glossy tale where difficulties and addictions appear and are overcome, where lies are told and then forgiven, where love is sought and found, and where truths, once spoken, can set you free. Secondary characters, including an interracial gay couple, appear with their own nuanced parts in the story. The message is strong, urging readers to get off their smartphones and social media and live in the real, authentic world—no chain stores or brands allowed here—making friends and forming a real-life community and support network. And is that really a bad thing?

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7861-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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