"Silence had a way of unsettling the calmest nerves, particularly when it came unexpectedly."
Artful, smart, almost supernatural in some aspects (depends on your beliefs and your imagination) and absolutely mind-blowing.
I don't even know how to start for there are many twists that are beautifully woven and logically explained and the characters are real charms, developed with personal attachment and you can definitely correlate with them. But first things first.
Major Crimes Detective Samantha Reilly and a teenager Michael Turcotte go way back. When he was little he witnessed his parents' murder and she was the one who pulled him out of that situation. They are both peculiar people, loners who do not share their softer sides with anyone else but each other as fate would have it.
Because Michael is a loner and he considers himself weird and out of place he becomes a target of school bullies who nearly kill him in their attempt to humiliate him. When he almost suffocates, he gets a gift (or a curse) which will change his life forever. And Samantha's as well. He can see people's dark futures.
When one of his predictions becomes true, he knows that this is real and he will have to learn how to deal with it. It won't be an easy path though. When one of the girls in his school, Tess, hears about his gift she comes to him for help and that encounter will change Fall River's history.
Michael is our main character. We meet him as a toddler in the first chapter when he witnesses his parents' murder and encounters his 'guardian angel' Samantha for the first time. Later we see him as a teenager, a boy living in a foster home, and not his first one either. He is trying to be unnoticed in school, he doesn't really have friends and the only person he talks to about his life is Sam. One day he gets bullied in an extreme manner and gets a gift of seeing people's dark futures, about killings, crimes and brutal deaths. He sees these 'visions' when he touches a person who has a dark future in store.
At first, he thinks it's just a one time thing but when it happens again, he realises he went from unnoticed boy to a 'freak' as he refers to himself. He has a hard time dealing with it because let's face it, it's not exactly a pleasant experience. Witnessing someone's brutal death is not something people love to do in their spare time. I love the way he is processing all of this. He is thinking as a teenager at first but later he seems to grow way beyond his years and it shows how he matures and begins to understand certain things. I just love this thought of his:
"That's just effing great. I'm going to have to wear gloves for the rest of my life, just like Rogue. At least she gets to fly. Is that what I am? A mutant? The idea of being a superhero like Wolverine and Rogue might have been cool except for one thing: in the X-Men comics, most humans generally hated the mutants. Just like they generally hate me."
Michael learns how to handle his gift, how to socialise and how to love and how to not judge people based on appearances only. He also learns just how strong he is and how much he is capable of.
Imagine a hardcore detective who devoted her entire life to her job. She doesn't have friends, lovers or family. She gives every ounce of strength and her capabilities to her detective work. She knows she is good at it and she takes great pride in it. She came to this respected position from a normal police officer and that is her life's achievement. She never really thinks about what if's, she just focuses on one case after the other.
"She'd chosen to be a warrior against the depravity of humankind, but that didn't mean she enjoyed witnessing its imbalanced illustrations."
The only anomaly in her life is Michael. He somehow wiggled his way into her life and became a part of it. He thinks she is his only constant person in his life because foster families always change and he doesn't have friends. But he doesn't realise how much he is also helping Sam. Without him, she would be all alone too.
Sam also grows throughout this book. Maybe not that noticeable as Michael but she definitely changes bit by bit. She becomes a bit more attached, emotional and eventually starts thinking of her future. Which made me really happy because I liked Sam, I liked how she handles herself and how she made a life for herself just as she wanted it to be.
Tess is one of those characters who are equally good and bad. Depends on how you prefer to see people, if you want to see more good or more bad in them. She is also a teenager and attends Michael's high school but until he became 'famous' in school they never interacted. After they do interact, their lives will be forever bound to one another.
She lives a life in hell. Her father is the devil and her captor whom she cannot escape. Her father is a psychopath and a serial murderer. And her abuser. Her mother died when she was 7 and since then he is her sole family. He teaches her how to be a 'proper woman' and 'not a whore like her mother, like all women' and he makes her assist him in his killings. Tess wants to escape that life but she doesn't have the courage, she waits for someone to help her or for him to finally kill her.
The problem we have is that she assists her father in killing people and doesn't say anything about it to anyone. We can argue that she is afraid for her life and that he 'brainwashed' her into being his accomplice but unfortunately that doesn't excuse one of horrid acts committed, not entirely at least. So she is both equally good and bad and that balance is very very delicate.
Her future even at the end remains unknown.
I love this book, from the beginning to the the end. Especially the end ! I love how we don't get the happy all decided pink fluffy unicorn future. We get reality. Nothing is determined. There are many possibilities and people are fragile inside. They can turn to good or bad based on the people or events in their life. No one is inherently good or bad. Life and circumstances shape us into who we are.
Like Sam says:
"The future was what they chose to make it. Just like life."
We hold our future in our hands. But also we cannot predict what hardships life has in store for us. We have to try to be good and to prevail. It's on us.
I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good thriller, mystery, suspense, fast-paced page-turner. You will not be able to put this book down.
*I received this book through Goodreads Giveaways and I gave my honest and heartfelt opinion on it