Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sheila Lowe Goes for Win in Haunting Suspense Thriller!

The first thing she noticed was the sound. Metal wheels rolling on rails, thrumming in time with her heartbeat. Instinct whispered that if she could only screw up the courage to pry open her eyes , she would see the world hurtling past with the breathless rush of a roller coaster. But that kind of courage had deserted her. How long had she been sitting as straight as a board, hands clasped in her lap, knees and ankles pressed together as tightly as if they were bound? Hours? Days? She could feel the gradual unraveling, thread by delicate thread, of the heavy curtain that separated consciousness from the abyss, but the answer to her question was elusive...
“Hey!” she shouted, running alongside the train, heedless of the massive steel wheels turning mere inches from her feet. Her fist beat uselessly against the siding. “Hey, wait! Wait!” The last compartment lumbered past, forcing her to jump back as the train picked up speed. She watched in dismay as it disappeared from view. What now? Alone on the platform, she turned in a slow circle, taking in her surroundings . Across the street was a huge parking lot, mostly empty. A marquee on the street corner said that the lot served the Ventura County Fairgrounds. To her right, the road that ran alongside the railroad tracks dead-ended. Biting down hard on her lip to keep from breaking into tears, she turned left and started walking away from the station. And as she walked, the thing that had been clamoring at her hit her full bore: the truth that she had been warding off since the first inkling of consciousness. A truth from which she could not protect herself. A truth that refused to be silenced any longer. The overwhelming question to which she had no answer emerged with the force of a body blow: 
Who am I?
~~~

What She Saw


Although you may see or hear the character name, Claudia Rose, in this book, What She Saw, is not part of her series... This diversion, in my opinion, just may be the best novel Lowe has published and has a distinct freedom from handwriting that could be Lowe's hurrah as she takes a step away from her specialist series... I applaud this free-standing psychological mystery entry as one of the greats from this now seasoned writer. This novel is loooooong on suspense and terror without much in the way of  character expertise in forensics.  The story is creepy, scary...and without a clue for readers as to who the heck the main character is! Two different styles of writing, genre development, and a future opening in the psychological suspense genre which could only be slightly improved with a little romance...LOL

I think I might be one of the few who began reading Lowe with her very first book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm hoping her series will continue but this diversion, preferably, will be just one of many, many more. This story was not only unusual and a big piece of weird good stuff, but we amateur bedside detectives just will not be able to get a break. Her clot is tight, extremely well written and she keeps beckoning us with her finger to keep following, turning those pages, until she finally says, OK...here it is! One wrapped up brilliant and delightful package that we get to unwrap one page at a time!

She didn't know where she was or who...but she saw her fellow passengers start pulling their things together and heard the conductor call out for Ventura station. She would try to get off and see if she recognized anything...But she just kept sitting there until a man approached her to see if she was alright and she hurriedly fot off, looking around and finally just set off.  Seeing the Crown Plaza and the beach, she thought about going in but what could she say--they'd think she was crazy... just as the voice in her head kept telling her...

She saw a sign for
Downtown and
kept on walking, even though she saw a couple of street hustlers who were already pointing and calling to her. One came to her and started the come on, but then they saw the cop car heading their direction... When she saw it, she was more scared of it than the thugs! What was that about?!

The sound of rhythm and blues spilling into the street drew her and she paused to watch the band performing on a tiny stage in the Bombay’s front window. The husky-voiced singer was named Joe Wilson and the song he was belting was called Bad Behavior. That piece of information earned a triumphant little fist pump just before despair overwhelmed her again. How could she know these trivial things, but nothing about herself? More pressing was the setting sun, whose dimming rays were rapidly bringing dusk. What the hell am I going to do? “Jen! Hey, Jennnnna!” She hesitated for a beat, then started walking again, he couldn’t be yelling at her.
~~~
He had been calling for her even though she didn't know him...but he did seem to know her and know enough to lead her
home, though when she got there, she didn't recognize it as the place where she lived. She started with a tour, getting to know the place, and then saw a computer--surely something on there would help her... She discovered that he was apparently Zach Smith, her upstairs neighbor and he seemed like a nice enough guy so she was glad to meet him, even though she wasn't sure that she really was the Jenna he thought she was! But at least she had a place to rest before she continued to figure out what was going on.

All she had to do was walk over and switch on the CPU. The renewed dread the prospect raised was not in her imagination. You are so chickenshit. Not yet. Turn it on! It can wait. Maybe she was just making another excuse, but there was something else Jenna needed to do before exploring the computer. 
First, she needed to face herself. Drawing a long, calming breath through her nose, she held it for the count of four, releasing it gradually through her mouth. Where had she learned to do that? Closing her eyes, she reached up the way a blind person might, and touched the landmarks of her features with her fingertips. The skin was firm and young, the cheekbones prominent. Feeling as prepared as she was likely to, Jenna opened her eyes and crossed into the bathroom...
What was behind the anguish reflected in those cool blue windows to her soul? Her mind skittered away from the question as fast as a cockroach exposed to sudden light...
~~~

One of the first things she found was an employee photo: 
According to a laminated employee photo ID badge in the purse, Jenna Marcott was an employee of BioNeutronics Laboratory in Oxnard.
She also found a card for an appointment with a psychologist and a small ripped paper that said:
I’m warning you, Jen, back off. Now!!! You’ve got to give me more time.
All she could think was about what she was supposed to back off from... Of course, nothing came to mind!

Had that person already made a failed attempt,
leaving her with amnesia? Having no answers
made her want to shriek at the emptiness where
the memories should have been.
What happened to me?
~~~
I must admit that I was getting personally involved with this woman--she was starting to do some crazy things that required a lot of guts.. Me, I think I would have headed to the ER room to see if I had been physically hurt... Instead, using what she had learned so far, she decided to take on Jenna's life, go to meet with the psychologist and also go to where she supposedly worked! 

The visit to see the psychologist made things worse! Apparently she had been to see him for an initial meeting and had told him that she thought somebody was trying to kill her! Of course she panicked, but use the information to find out what else had been said. The doctor explained that she apparently was a danger to somebody very powerful.

Have to say what happened in this book caught me totally in shock--didn't have a clue where the story was going! Cool, right?! I think, for me, this became my favorite book, so far, for Sheila Lowe. I'm looking forward to watching her expand her wings into other genres. By how I enjoyed this book, I can't wait to see what happens in the future books Lowe publishes! Do check this book out--it's a perfect page-turning suspense novel that, even when the major twist occurs, it only keeps you turning the pages faster! Loved it!


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Sheila Lowe
Like Claudia Rose, Sheila Lowe is a court-qualified handwriting expert who testifies in forensic cases. She has more than thirty years experience in the field of handwriting analysis and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. The author of Handwriting of the Famous & Infamous, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Handwriting Analysis, her analyses of celebrity handwritings have appeared in Time, Teen People, and Mademoiselle. Her articles on Personality Profiling and Handwriting Analysis for the Attorney have been published in several bar association magazines.
Sheila's clientele includes a wide spectrum of corporate clients, mental health professionals, attorneys, private investigators and staffing agencies, among others. Her award-winning Handwriting Analyzer software is used around the world and her profiles help uncover important information in background checks and pre-employment screening. She enjoys analyzing handwriting for individuals, too, helping them understand themselves and others better.

For more information on Sheila please visit her personal website www.sheilalowe.com