Twisted Whispers

Twisted Whispers - Sheri Lewis Wohl This is the second book in the Reluctant Psychic series. Thea, a graphic designer has a twin sister who disappears in broad daylight. The police are stumped. In desperation, Thea calls her old friend Lorna, who has become an instant celebrity because of her solving a century-old murder mystery (in Book 1) thru psychic means (e.g. she sees dead people). Thea is hoping that Lorna might be able to use her extra-sensory gifts to figure things out. The problem is, reluctant psychic Lorna is also newbie psychic Lorna--she doesn't really know how things work. Her only experience is with being contacted by the other side. And while she figures out how to re-activate her psychic talents for this particular case, time is running out for the missing sister.

This book is a curious mix of paranormal, crime-mystery and romance genres, none of which it does particularly well, unfortunately.

Let's start with the paranormal aspect. It's pretty standard fare--nothing we haven't read or seen before. Twin connections, visions, sensations. There's an attempt at originality by introducing a strange, supernatural being with its own agenda but in this book, it just felt unnecessary and distracting. The crime mystery isn't very original either. But what drags the book down imho, is the way the investigation was conducted. Readers who are familiar with police procedurals can spot a lot of omissions--no press, no pressure from above, no oversight, no interviews. I suppose the author didn't intend to write a police procedural, but still, the cops could have pretty much figured out the culprit if they had rigorously investigated the crime instead of just thinking and talking about it, which in the book, is all that they did. :) I guess that gives them an excuse to use the psychic but it also makes them look terribly inept. :) Just an example: when the cops find out the victim was having an affair, there was no attempt at all to find out who the guy was by asking around. They never even suspect him. In fact, they keep on insisting the hubby as the suspect. What makes it doubly worse is that one of the main characters IS the lead investigator on the case. Ineptitude doesn't a heroine make. I think it is safe to say that this is the most frustrating crime/thriller I've ever read.

Now, as to the romance, there isn't very much of it. The two MCs (victim's sister and the investigating cop) are hampered throughout by propriety. So they spend most of the book fretting and worrying about their feelings and how inappropriate it would be to act on them. The other relationships fare much better in terms of development: Lorna and Renee, Jeremy and Merry, but they will resonate with readers more if they had started with the first book. Another annoying thing with the book was how characters kept on repeating their thoughts. Example: Kim's and Lorna's repeated promises (mental or verbal) to Thea to find her sister, etc. Also problematic is the identity of the culprit How does a cop have so much free time to go around killing a dozen women?

Overall, its an average and mildly-entertaining read if you don't think too hard about it. Not a quick or easy one because of the serious and depressing theme. If you can overlook the ineptitude of the cops, the tendency of the entire book to 'tell' rather than 'show', or you've read and liked the first book, then go for this.

3.5 stars

ARC received from Netgalley