|Tina Wainscott: Now You See Me|
Martins Mass Market (Paperback), ISBN 0312979096
The kidnapping of Phaedra Burns occurs right under Olivia's nose, reopening memories and feelings she spent the last 16 years purging in her paintings. An even stronger connection than normal forms with the stolen child, allowing Olivia to see through Phaedra's eyes whenever she experiences strong fear at the hands of the monster who holds her hostage. Olivia desperately struggles to see enough of the man's face or the surroundings to give the police some clue as to Phaedra's whereabouts.
Abused by a sadistic father, Detective Max Callahan knows what it means to be tormented by demons. The Phaedra Burns case takes one wrong turn after another and soon Callahan must rely on the sparse information Olivia can give him. His overly skeptical partner warns him that perhaps something else keeps drawing Callahan to Olivia's apartment; her long hair perhaps, or her graceful movements.
After several rocky starts, Callahan and Olivia realize they must work together in order to save Phaedra's life, for Olivia knows with sickening certainty that soon Phaedra will be dead. The images Olivia sees through Phaedra begin to take on an alarming similarity to the ones from her own past. The torture the girl undergoes are exactly the same as that which Olivia herself endured.
Wainscott manages to weave these two separate lives and worlds together in a mesh of coincidence that could easily seem contrived and impossible. In this complex plot, even the minor characters live their own lives, complete with problems and emotional issues, just like in real life. This deep reality balances some of the harder to believe coincidences.
Though Olivia and Callahan develop a relationship, the relationship between woman and dog takes the spotlight. Olivia's care and dependence on Stasia and Stasia's loyalty and love prove very touching. Wainscott's appealing descriptions of Olivia's attempts to retain her visual memory increase the poignancy of her situation. Olivia's strong survivor character moves the plot in unexpected ways, taking the mush out of the burgeoning romance. Tension runs high in this book, as the cleverness of the villain becomes more and more unsettling as time goes on.
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