The Cold Heart of Capricorn: A Mystery

Martha C. Lawrence, Author
Martha C. Lawrence, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-312-14569-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 240 pages - 978-0-312-96294-4
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An engaging protagonist makes just palatable this story's blend of forthright paranormality, questionable reality and boilerplate anti-rape crusading. Elizabeth Chase, the San Diego psychic PI who debuted in Murder in Scorpio, warns police of a future rape she has seen in a dream. The police, of course, aren't impressed. When the local serial rapist catches up with Chase's prediction, however, the cops hire her to help them, although she seems accountable to nobody. The meticulous rapist isn't done, and his most recent victim, a karate student, says he must be a trained fighter. Police introduce Chase to their favorite suspects, guys with auras that could put a psychic off her feed, but on her own she visits the rapist's four known victims and learns how the attacks have changed their lives. When a shocking murder throws the PD into disarray, only Chase remains the women's champion. Although her inquiries, normal and para, set up the dream-driven finale, the questions ignored are more interesting than those addressed. If the future is written in dreams, aren't villains as doomed to attack as victims are to be attacked? Or is it that attackers exercise free will and victims are only fate's road kill? Prediction: unless Lawrence confronts all the ramifications of having a psychic heroine, even Elizabeth Chase's endearing discomfort with her gift of perception won't save this series. (Jan.)
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