Monday, April 16, 2007

Sight Unseen - Samantha Graves

Sight Unseen
Samantha Graves
Warner Forever


Raven Callahan has always had the ability to hold or touch an object and receive physic impressions from it. Often, these impressions come with visuals; too often, they come with painful emotions. Raven puts this gift to use in her job as an art recovery expert for New York-based Antiquities Preservation Institute. Over the years, she’s restored many art objects to their rightful owners. And, sometimes, she’s had to resort to less-than-legal means to do it. Her boss doesn’t necessarily approve of these methods, but Raven loves the rush.

David “Dax” Maddox is a former cop on a mission. During a robbery, the fleeing suspect shot his partner, after smashing him over the head. Dax’s head injury left him with no color vision; his partner’s death left him with a lot of guilt and a desire for vengeance. On the trail of the thief who so changed his life, Dax attends an art auction in Miami. There, he sees Raven. They’ve run into each other before, while she was casing a house. He knows she’s not the killer, but he’s betting she’ll be able to lead him straight to the killer.

Raven and her colleague, the distinguished 70-year-old art dealer, Walter Abbott, are attending the auction for their boss. Their job is to acquire a certain painting. Before the auction begins, Dax corners Raven in an attempt to discover ulterior motives. When Raven and Walter lose the bidding, Raven immediately begins plotting another way to get the painting. Raven and Dax will both be put to the test when a sadistic madman makes the opening move in his twisted game: he kidnaps Walter and demands the painting as ransom.

Readers are immediately thrust into Raven’s world when, on the first page, she’s in the midst of cave diving to retrieve an ancient artifact. She presents a cold and calculating front to the world, as someone in her profession would have to do. Her life is her work and only her work, until she believes that Dax’s interference led to Walter’s kidnapping. The two are both independent and hardheaded, and the usual clash of personalities ensues, until the anger turns into passion. The suspense plot is nicely intricate, with plenty of action. The use of psychometric abilities, in an otherwise everyday world, gives a bit of a fresh twist on the genre. The author doesn’t pull punches with language and violence, and the result is a strong and entertaining read.

Rating: 7 1/2
April 2007
ISBN# 0-446-61838-1 (paperback)


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