Sunday, April 30, 2006

Review: Through Violet Eyes

Through Violet Eyes
By Stephen Woodworth

I picked this novel up in the Mystery/Suspense section of my local Borders. Normally I stick to the SciFi/Fantasy aisles, but found myself lacking for anything new in that familiar territory. So I ventured forth and found this little gem. I admit, I would have expected to find it shelved with SF/F, considering the little contemporary alternate reality thing the author has going on, but the novel is also a satisfying suspense story.

FBI Agent Dan Atwater is on the trail of a killer who targets Violets, a special subset of humans who are born with violet eyes and the ability to channel dead spirits. Violets work for a mysterious CIA-like group, who use them to let dead victims testify in court, to study dead serial killers and their victims, or to allow Beethoven to continue to compose music.

Someone is murdering Violets, and seemingly at random. Atwater is assisted Natalie Lindstrom, a well-known Violet, who is there to help him solve the case. They aren't quite Mulder and Scully (or for the newer generation, Booth and Bones), but they click and clash in amusing ways, as they attempt to find out who is killing Violets and why.

It's not a difficult read, and the storyline won't strain your brain. There are plenty of red herrings tossed into the story, and those who don't think about it too hard may be surprised by the crooked ending (I hesitate to call it a twist). But Woodworth knows how to tell a tale, and he built up this America where Violets are common, and made me believe it.

I look forward to trying out the follow-up to this one, In Golden Blood. I hope that Agent Atwater manages an appearance or two. I like this Violet world, but didn't glom onto Natalie as strongly as the author likely intended.

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