18 Seconds

George D. Shuman, Author . Simon & Schuster $23.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-7432-7716-7

Beautiful, blind Sherry Moore is matter-of-fact when telling two police detectives about her agonizing gift—the ability to see the last 18 seconds of a dead person's life. It's not supernatural, in her telling; it's science imperfectly understood. It's also the defining characteristic of Sherry's life; orphaned and injured at a young age, she cannot say no to the bereft who want her help in solving gruesome crimes. Shuman is a 20-year veteran of the Washington, D.C., police force, and his debut novel mercilessly depicts the horror wrought by serial killer Earl Sykes, who specializes in young women out for a good time at the New Jersey shore. Narrative relief from a litany of horrific crimes comes when the scene shifts to Sherry's tender relationship with a married police detective, and to police lieutenant Kelly Lynch-O'Shaughnessy's marital struggles. While the large number of characters and cross-cutting of their perspectives leads to occasional confusion, the vividly drawn central figures and authoritative voice keep the reader grimly committed. 100,000 announced first printing. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/02/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-9564-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-5412-1
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-7432-8233-8
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-84737-587-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 354 pages - 978-0-7432-7717-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-5016-1
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