Tuesday’s Child

“Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace”, or at least that’s how the rhyme goes.

The book, Tuesday’s Child by Dale Mayer, while not totally full of grace, did tell a compelling story.

Samantha Blair has psychic visions. She sees death. Even more horrific, she sees it from the victim’s point of view, as it is happening. She experiences every stab, every slice, every broken bone. She doesn’t just feel the pain, every cut, bruise and broken bone manifests on her own body, the blood drips from her slashed skin, soaks into her ruined bed. But unlike the victim, Samanatha heals. More or less.

Sam has a gift. Or a curse.

Reporting her knowledge of a woman’s death only brings suspicion on herself. She knows. She’s tried before. But she tries again any. Because this time, she saw something that might be useful. Not just a ski-mask and dead eyes, but a ring. Something that could be identified.

The cop who takes her statement is merely skeptical. Sam knows that later, when the body shows up, he’ll be worse. But the one she practically mows down on her way out the door–he’s different.

Brandt Sutherland is in Portland on the track of a serial killer who has been nicknamed “The Bastard” for very good reasons. Sam’s visions turn out to be the best lead he’s ever had. And Brandt is considerably less skeptical of psychics than the average cop.  His best friend Stefan is one, and has proven himself both to Brandt and to the police on many occasions.

But Brandt is only on “temporary” assignment to Portland, and the regular cops are extremely hostile to Sam, especially as more bodies turn up. When a bad cop from Sam’s past blows into town, and then Sam becomes a media target, the situation heats up out of control. In more ways than one.

Escape Rating B-/C+: There were parts of this story I liked a lot, but there were a couple of things that drove me crazy. Brandt’s mom who runs betting pools at the Senior Center is a hoot! And I really liked Sam. She reminds me of Harper Connelly, the main character in Charlaine Harris’ series that starts with Grave Sight. Harper sees dead people. Or more specifically, Harper finds bodies and sees how they died. It is the same gruesome kind of gift. But without the blood.

I think what bothered me was the blood. Not in the squicked out sense. I’m watching the entire run of Bones right now. Having Sam experience the entire set of wounds makes my logic circuit go haywire. She’s losing too much blood, and she’s suffering too many broken bones to heal. Also she’s getting slashed up too much. Peritonitis should have killed her dozens of times over by now from her stomach and intestines getting cut. This happens to her body, not just the victim. When does she take antibiotics? All that blood loss, she doesn’t ever eat enough, or even get enough time to replenish her system.

I also wanted closure. The suspense part of this story was about Sam’s psychic visions of the serial killer. Why did Sam specifically have visions of this pervert’s crimes and no one else’s? Why did his “work” trigger her visions where no one else’s did? That question was never answered, and I really wanted it to be. We find out about everyone’s connection to the murderer, except Sam’s. We even find out about Soldier’s. Just not Sam’s.

I just want my HEA to be a little tidier, that’s all.