Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
Time is running out for a detective's young niece, and the primary clue to her abductor's identity is from a psychic vision in the heart-racing Chalk Outline, a murder mystery thriller by Veronica Smith. Jessica's seven-year-old daughter, Vanessa, was abducted and murdered nearly two years ago. Every night Jessica relives the horrifying scene from Vanessa's point of view. With Vanessa's death, Jessica developed the ability to experience the victim's last minutes, if she lies in the place where their body is found. Because her "gift" is considered a mental imbalance, Jessica is secretly helping two homicide detectives, Darius and Jake, in their search for the serial killer. Committed to unearthing the criminal who has violated many children, Jessica keeps her ear tuned to the police scanner, and whenever another child's body is discovered, she visits the scene to see if she can home in on the killer's identity. When Jake's niece goes missing, the clock begins ticking, quickly counting down the moments she has left to live. Can they stop the monster before he adds another corpse to his long list?
Combining the metaphysical realm with reality is done outstandingly well in Chalk Outline by Veronica Smith. It is a riveting novel where normal procedures are enhanced with unorthodox tactics to reveal an evil, giving the story an eerie but satisfying outcome. The plot is sound, the storyline is intriguing, and the characters are likable. Jessica's character's uncanny ability is spine-chilling and disturbing, bringing tears and goosebumps simultaneously. With witty characters, heart-stopping scenes, and an element of the paranormal, this is a fantastic novel that will enthrall those who love a thrilling murder mystery.