Bantam, Apr 2001, 23.95, 288 pp.
As a young man, Joe Bailey was a professional magician who opened many Las Vegas shows with his performance. Now he works as a detective on the ?Bunko? squad with his moniker being the ?Spirit Basher? because he is known for debunking phony mediums and psychics who prey on society. Joe firmly believes that there are no paranormal powers and his record of unveiling frauds is near 100 per cent.
Joe is assigned to homicide when a huge sculpture with spikes fell and killed Dr. Robert Nelson, chair of the Landwyn University parapsychology department. His girlfriend claims that one of Joe?s subjects, eight-year old Jessie Randall killed him by using telekinesis powers. He rejects the notion of his mental prowess, but admits that every time he angers him strange things occur. Other people also show interest in Jessie, who becomes a target for kidnappers. To divert Joe from the case, attempts to hurt his daughter are made. Before using all his energies to find Jessie, Joe sends his child to a place of safety.
Edgar award winning Roy Johansen (see THE ANSWER MAN) has written an exhilarating police procedural that has more action per page than most novels have in several chapters. The heroine is a genuinely nice person who readers will like and admire. The cleverly designed plot hits its climax just at the point when all the subplots brilliantly converge. BEYOND BELIEF is one terrific ride into a shadowy realm where things never are quite what they seem.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner