Forge, Jan 2002, 26.95, 383 pp.
Though San Francisco University research geneticist Reed Haler adores his wife Devrie, he thinks her ability to foresee the future is a charming parlor trick. Still he loves his spouse and looks forward to the birth of their child already named Alana. However, on a camping trip, a thug kills Devrie and their unborn child. Reed deeply mourns his loss and struggles to regain some normalcy.
Reed reads Devrie's journal filled with cryptic notes to include her own death and hints of future murders. Accompanied by a dog Hoover they found on that fatal camping trip, Reed travels to Cowhollow, Tennessee to talk with a psychic Maysie Fabrioso who has helped police. Following Maysie's advice and Devrie's journal, Reed stops in Alamosa, Colorado where he expects the killer to seek new victims. He meets Jessica Morraine, a divorced pediatrician with a seven-year-old daughter. Due to the eerie not so coincidental first name of Alana, Reed investigates the murder of a doctor in town, but remains unaware that the killer is already waiting for him.
FEAR ITSELF is a taut psychic thriller that grabs the audience's attention from the start of the book until the tale finishes. Reed is a strong character bound to gain reader sympathy, as he poorly copes with his spouse's violent death and a para-world he never believed existed. Though the dream sequences slow down a dramatic plot, the audience will relish Barret Schumacher's debut tale and want more novels just like this exciting one.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner