The Seventh Sense

T. J. MacGregor, Author, MacGregor, Author Kensington Publishing Corporation $23 (268p) ISBN 978-1-57566-411-8

The wind and the rain that rage in the opening scenes of Shamus Award-winner MacGregor's (Mistress of the Bones; The Hanged Man) off-beat psychodrama soon become internal forces, as the lives of his yuppified characters are torn up and battered. Ambitious Miami attorney Frank Benedict, drinking heavily to dull the loss of a client whose business would have assured him a full partnership in his high-powered firm, is alone on the road in his black BMW. When a Ford Explorer carrying pregnant FBI agent Charlie Calloway and her husband crosses Benedict's path, the lawyer, still seething with unresolved anger, hits the accelerator instead of the brake. He smashes the Explorer again, killing Calloway's husband, then drives off in a panic, leaving Charlie bleeding in the street and her pet dog running into the neighborhood. Arriving home, Benedict frantically begs his wife to support him; charges of intoxication, leaving the scene and vehicular homicide would end his career, he argues. Together they sink the battered Beemer in an abandoned quarry. Though her baby dies, Charlie gradually recovers. Frustrated by the lack of clues in Charlie's husband's homicide, her boss seeks the help of former agent Doug Logan, who has ESP resulting from a near-death experience when he was wounded in the line of duty. It turns out that Charlie had a similar experience after the collision, and now she too has psychic powers. With a million-dollar reward on his head, Benedict's anxiety escalates and he kills again, but Charlie's injured dog provides the clue to Benedict's undoing, thanks to an elderly Alzheimer's patient who can see into the future. MacGregor keeps the suspense rising, and a rushed and melodramatic denouement is the only letdown in her creepy exploration of the powers of human perception. Author tour. (May)