Seeing Evil by Jason Parent
Published August 4th 2015 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Fate in plain sight.
Major Crimes Detective Samantha Reilly prefers to work alone—she’s seen as a maverick, and she still struggles privately with the death of her partner. The only person who ever sees her softer side is Michael Turcotte, a teenager she’s known since she rescued him eleven years ago from the aftermath of his parents’ murder-suicide.
In foster care since his parents’ death, Michael is a loner who tries to fly under the bullies’ radar, but a violent assault triggers a disturbing ability to view people’s dark futures. No one believes his first vision means anything, though—not even Sam Reilly. When reality mimics his prediction, however, Sam isn’t the only one to take notice. A strange girl named Tessa Masterson asks Michael about her future, and what he sees sends him back to Sam—is Tessa victim or perpetrator?
Tessa’s tangled secrets draw Michael and Sam inexorably into a deadly conflict. Sam relies on Michael, but his only advantage is the visions he never asked for. As they track a cold and calculating killer, one misstep could turn the hunters into prey.
This is my first dance with horror author, Jason Parent.
Seeing Evil is a book about breaking the cycle. Life puts these characters in bad places, horrible situations, and makes them do not so nice things. In Seeing Evil, Parent shows us that we have the power to change the path we’re on.
Two of his characters, Michael and Tessa, stand out and are written exceptionally well. I found myself caught up in their separate struggles and enjoyed watching them come together. That’s where Parent excelled. As readers, we HAVE to know what happens to Michael and Tessa.
It was also nice, in the first half of the story, to see Parent brave the world of school bullying. The experience near the beginning of the book involving Michael, a boy named Jimmy, and three bullies touches on an all too common scenario in today’s headlines. It also introduces us to Michael’s gift as he sees what Jimmy has planned for one of the bullies.
The action is done rather well, the dialogue was good, and I felt swept up in the finale. There’s also a terrific tip of the hat to Stephen King’s Dead Zone. Rightfully so.
The story isn’t without its flaws. Sam, the lead detective, didn’t work for me. She shows poor judgement with regularity throughout the novel. The worst decisions involve bringing a kid into some pretty dangerous situations. This happened a few times. Once was enough to make me hope she got suspended. Fortunately, Michael and Tessa are so compelling they power us past the shortcomings.
Parent did a good job with the antagonist here (Father was downright horrifying at times), but I wish we could have had more time with him to see a better lead up to where he snapped. The explanation is good, it’s just a little rushed.
Seeing Evil has some very special moments and is a very fast read. There’s no denying Parent has talent.
I look forward to seeing where he goes next.
All in all, I was gonna give Seeing Evil 3.75 stars…but that finale convinced me it was close enough to push it up to 4.
Visit Jason Parent at his website: AuthorJasonParent.com