Martha C Lawrence
St Martin's, Sept 2001, 23.95, 256 pp.
Private detective Elizabeth Chase still mourns the loss of a loved one while rebuilding her life. She takes on more cases and studies the shamanistic arts with Tecume Indian Sequoia. In addition to being a private detective, she is also a psychic. She has become so well known in solving police cases, the San Diego County sheriff's department hires her to assist in their investigation of the kidnapping of Matthew Fielding, the four-year-old son of multi-millionaire.
Shortly after she interviews the parents of the missing boy, a wildfire near their estate breaks out, burning their home and killing both of them. Further inquiries prove that the fire was deliberately set. Shortly after that incident, another arson occurs, burning down an apartment building and part of Fielding's company proving that whoever took the child and set the fire has a powerful grudge against the family. Throughout their time of horror, Elizabeth's sixth sense insists that Mathew is still alive and she feels that she owes it to his dead parents to find him no matter what the dangers.
After reading ASHES OF ARIES, only the most hardened skeptic will refute the existence of psychic powers in select individuals. The heroine accepts them in much the same way she accepts the color of her hair and eyes. Though she has these powers, Elizabeth predominately uses ordinary investigative skills because they are more reliable and steady then her sixth sense. The story line is totally absorbing, the plot is fast paced and action-packed while the characters, many of whom have appeared in other works, add dimension to a very deep human drama.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner