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Touch    by Gayleen Froese order for
by Gayleen Froese
Order:  USA  Can
NeWest, 2005 (2005)
*   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

Anna Gareau is psychic. She has the most unsettling ability to sense the past when she touches objects or people. Most of these unsought insights are unpleasant ones, so Anna has learned to keep her hands to herself.

In Victoria, British Columbia, on an errand that has gone awry, she finds herself embroiled in a murder, when she meets the co-workers of a woman drowned in the hotel pool. A touch shows her that Collie Kostyna is in danger. With the quixotic notion of protecting the young woman, Anna helps Collie and her employer Paul Echlin investigate the death. The victim was employed at The Rail, a newsmagazine where odd incidents have occurred. Several members of the staff have been acting in uncharacteristic, even crazy ways. Paul is determined to find out what is happening, not purely out of altruism, but also in the hopes of writing a new book. Anna's talent of psychometry is helpful, but it also reveals to her the existence of a mysterious and frightening antagonist. But since she has no desire to be turned into a test specimen, she cannot explain how much she knows or how she has found out that information.

Touch unfolds a spooky mystery while exploring how a lonely, suspicious personality learns to trust and reach out to friendship, in the person of Collie. The protagonist is interesting and has a unique ability. The plot is riveting with its series of uncanny crimes. However, I found the solution unsatisfying; it was disappointing after the building suspense that had me hoping for a fiendishly ingenious explanation.

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