Full Moon, Oct 2002, 22.95, 294 pp.
On maternity leave, Detective Sergeant Samantha Casey wanders around a construction site when she hears a dying female voice with no one but the male foreman in the area. She picks up a button and sees a vision as if a murder mystery is playing on the TV. After consulting with her mother, the only person who believes in her psychic abilities, Sam begins checking the files of her detective husband for brutal fatal stabbing cases in the Briar Woods area of Chasen heights.
Sam's research leads her to Jimmy Taggert. The convicted murderer sits on death row awaiting state execution for the 1985 brutal murder of Catherine DeMarco. The evidence is so powerful that he has to be the killer yet Sam's psychic abilities say otherwise. Unable to rest, Sam visits retired detective Paul Goddard, who led the DeMarco murder investigation seventeen years ago. Paul is an alcoholic struggling with personal problems, but informs Sam that he always felt, but could not prove, that Taggert was too perfect. Reluctantly, Paul agrees to work with Sam though he is very skeptical about her psychic powers but knows this might help ease his conscience.
RESTLESS SPIRIT is an entertaining paranormal investigative tale due to the lead character (see WHEN THE DEAD SPEAK for Sam's first appearance). The story line is cleverly designed so that readers obtain a taste of the negative reactions of the secondary characters including the victim's family, the heroine's husband, and even her temporary partner to Sam's “intrusive” sleuthing. Though Paul's baggage drags, fans will gain extensive satisfaction from S.D. Tooley's tale that reads like Marge Gunderson (Fargo) having psychic abilities.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner