Seeing Evil by Jason Parent

Thriller, 234 pages
Fate in plain sight.

Major Crimes Detective Samantha Reilly prefers to work alone—she’s seen as a maverick, and she still struggles privately with the death of her partner. The only person who ever sees her softer side is Michael Turcotte, a teenager she’s known since she rescued him eleven years ago from the aftermath of his parents’ murder-suicide.

In foster care since his parents’ death, Michael is a loner who tries to fly under the bullies’ radar, but a violent assault triggers a disturbing ability to view people’s dark futures. No one believes his first vision means anything, though—not even Sam Reilly. When reality mimics his prediction, however, Sam isn’t the only one to take notice. A strange girl named Tessa Masterson asks Michael about her future, and what he sees sends him back to Sam—is Tessa victim or perpetrator?

Tessa’s tangled secrets draw Michael and Sam inexorably into a deadly conflict. Sam relies on Michael, but his only advantage is the visions he never asked for. As they track a cold and calculating killer, one misstep could turn the hunters into prey.
Seeing Evil is a book about the evil human beings inflict on one another. It’s more thriller than horror but has a few disturbing scenes that fall more into the horror realm.

Michael was tragically orphaned as a young boy. Now he’s a teen living with foster parents and dealing with the typical cruelties and horrors of high school. He’s quiet, keeps his head down and minds his own business but one day he finds himself the target of one of the biggest bullies in the school. This scene is horrifying and too well written, if you ask me. I felt like I was in that bathroom stall with unfortunate Michael and, eww, I did not want to be there! Later Michael has a dark and dire vision that eventually comes true. He confides in his police detective friend, Samantha, and she later uses this information to guide her in an investigation.

And this is where I had a problem. The writing is good and the teen characters are amazingly well drawn. You really feel for them. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that Samantha using Michael, pretty much without his ok, to help her catch a killer bothered the hell out of me. This poor kid had already lived through hell and here she was forcing him to see things he should never have to see. Once? Okay, I get it. But again and again, after he tells her he doesn’t want to do it? Well, that is completely awful no matter her motives.

I listened to this book as an unabridged audio but I’d suggest you read it as a paperback. I felt the female narrator gave a flat performance and didn’t do justice to the material and it took me way too long to warm up to her voice.

Those two things aside, the book was a creepy and disturbing read with characters you will care about. The story gets a four, the narration a three so I guess I’m ending with a 3 ½..


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