Friday, February 15, 2013

Paranormal Normal for Karen Magill - Not So Sure About That...LOL

"Suddenly it was daylight and Julie was no longer sitting on an apartment
balcony. She was standing on a wooden plank sidewalk and she could hear
the cracking and roar of a large fire. It seemed so close...Julie felt like she
was in an old time horror movie.  All around her people were running to
escape...Chinese men and women in traditional garb not usually seen in this
"I wonder what that was all about?" Logically Julie knew that the fire was
something from the past...Julie's visions usually came to her in the form of
dreams. Never had she been transported back in time like that; never had she
been so much a part of a vision...

Missing Flowers

By Karen Magill

There was a touch of Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews for me at first, not only because of the title, but because the flowers referred to missing abused this case "working girls..." Magill proposes to make paranormal normal...but, whew, I'm not sure anybody is going to want to "find" that ability once they read about Julie Seer's life experiences!

Julie not only became friendly with some of the street girls--she knew some of them more intimately than anybody alive...

Because she was there when they were killed...
It started with a droning sound. Julie was in a room with wooden benches, like the pews in a church. Yet not quite, something was off. This wasn't a church. She could feel the hardness of the wood floor beneath scrawny, malnourished knees. In the dream, her arms were covered with track marks from years of drug abuse, her skin felt slimy and dirty yet it didn't bother her. Julie had the impression that this slovenly state was normal for her. And besides, there were more important things to worry about, not that Julie was sure of what those concerns were. She did know she was going to get money from whoever brought her here. In the dream, that was the only reason Julie had agreed to come; she really needed the money.Present day Julie started to gasp for air, she realized that the horrifying part of the nightmare was about to happen. There was nothing she could do to stop either the event or her recollection of it.
In the dream, her hair was grabbed and her head snapped back. She couldn't see who it was, and thought she had forgotten to tell the john rough stuff was extra. She opened her mouth to speak but only a gasp came out. She felt cold metal on her neck then the feeling of liquid warmth. The smell of lemon scented furniture polish, incense and unwashed body parts was overpowered by the coppery stench of blood. She looked down and saw the floor becoming red. A red liquid was pouring onto the wood and it seemed to be originating from her. Bewildered, she looked up but couldn't see who was there. Everything was murky; the incense cloud had gotten thicker. The droning continued and was the last thing dream Julie heard before everything went black.

So if you're a psychic, and have gained valuable information regarding a crime, you may go and share that information with the police, right? Well, quite often, instead, Julie would attempt to find the location of her dreams and try to pick up additional vibes...See, here's where paranormal may not be so normal. In any event, Julie was just as interested in solving the mystery of her dreams as well, don't you think?

But this was the first time that her psychic experiences were provided like this. She had just moved to Vancouver and that's when she had begun receiving messages. The problem was that they were so vague and she never knew when the event occurred. But she did know that the women she saw were being killed... And as more and more past-life regressions occurred, she learned that she was actually going into the body of a woman named Ming... This historical story flowing through the novel makes the book much more complex and provides a story of young love that took place many years ago. A clever addition to this story of murder.

Detective Constable Santoro Ricci was interested in what was happening to the women who disappeared. There had been a task force formed, but for some reason, his boss wouldn't let him be on it. Finally, after time and Ricci's constantly seeking information, he told him he could use his personal time to watch what Julie might get into or discover.

Julie, of course, was looking to Ricci as a protector, since he had saved her and, while he was also attracted to her as well, there were problems when she learns that she was just an assignment...

Still, when Julie and one of the prostitutes is taken, he is immediately working to follow their trail. I thought these two characters fit well together--maybe a sequel or series???

My opinion about the character dialogue for "Francine". I saw a number of low rankings because of this character. I don't think the book deserves that just because of one character. I will say, however, that I think the author did not do sufficient research before creating the dialogue. I've read other books with colloquial dialects and they have been well done. A writer in my opinion, can use such dialogue sparingly, if absolutely necessary, but this one was overdone and personally I believe it should not be used, as it seemed here, as if the writer was attempting to identify race by that dialogue. There are much easier and "clean" ways to do so, if appropriate. I also don't feel that, as the author wrote on behalf of the character, that any "john" would "expect" it... This I think led to the conclusions of other readers, especially when the mother did not speak this way did not speak this way and even chastised her daughter for doing so.. While this was an irritation, it does not take away from the overall story itself.

The method by which the mystery is solved is also a clever twist by the author, since it, too, brings out a relationship that was both exploitative and evil but normal from the outside. In fact, while the psychic got us into the story, I'm not quite sure it effectively illustrated  it was paranormal suspense. More Whodunit? This one is tricky for those of us who like to try to guess whodunit... I was close, but not correct... So let me know if you do realize who is destroying the flowers...

Magill has taken us into history via paranormal activity, into psychic revelation to a gifted individual, but she also gives us an unusually superb whodunit to challenge readers...Quite an achievement in my opinion. Check it out!


I am on a mission to make the paranormal normal. Everything I write shows extrasensory powers as a common ability because I believe that these attributes are within us all.
Forced to leave the workforce in 2000 by the onslaught of MS, I saw this as an opportunity to explore my lifelong desire to write. Initially I explored other areas of writing before deciding that my future lay with creating novels.
I live in an eclectic area of Vancouver Canada and draw inspiration from the history and stories around me.

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