Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Can See You - Karen Rose

Evie Wilson was the victim of the villain in DON'T TELL, an assault which resulted in paralysis on one side of her face. After her injury, Evie retreated into the virtual realm, seeking refuge from the public eye by interacting with online friends. Now, with the help of a surgeon, Evie's face is restored and she is ready to return to the real world. However, she remains connected to the Internet for her graduate thesis on using the virtual world as therapy to improve self-esteem. She has become an online shopkeeper who sells faces and bodies to users interested in building a new avatar on a website called "Shadowland." In her new role, Evie maintains "surveillance" over her test subjects to ensure they don't become too caught up in the intoxicating virtual realm.

Meanwhile, homicide detective Noah Webster has been investigating a string of suspicious suicides that he believes are connected murders. Noah's investigation leads him to Evie when one of her online test subjects is found dead of apparent suicide, but Evie believes otherwise.

Evie is shocked to find herself drawn to someone for the first time in many years and she's reluctant to trust Noah. However, he's the only one who believes her story about the suspicious death of her test subject, and he soon discovers that many of the apparent suicides in his case had avatars in "Shadowland."

As murder victims connected to the website begin to appear more frequently, Noah asks Evie to be his virtual guide in the investigation. However, they don't realize that the killer is closer than they think--and that he holds a special grudge against Evie.
I had 2 reasons to want to read this book, first because I was curious to what Rose was going to come up with after the Vartanians and second because I was curious to read Eve’s story after having met her in a previous book. I’m happy to say that I enjoyed it very much.

In this story Rose introduces a new group of people, the police force known as the Hat Squad of which the hero – Noah – is a part of. Eve, who has been a victim, has now tried to move on with her life and is a college student working on a study about how people use role play games on the internet to become more confident. Eve works at a local bar that is a meeting place for the Hat Squad, behind the counter and notices everything and knows a lot about each of her patrons.

Eve and Noah are attracted to each other from day one but they both feel that they don’t deserve each other and so they stay away. But when Noah discovers that a series of suicides are actually murders and when Eve realizes that some of the victims were a part of her study they start spending more time together.

I did like that Rose used the internet as such an important part of the plot; it was where the victims spent most of their time and how the killer found them. It felt very real…

For a while there seems to be several storylines happening, besides the main killer there’s something going on with Noah’s partner and there are two man out to get them. As the action progresses we start to see how everything relates. It was interesting how Rose made me look at several possible suspects, for a while I was undecided about who the real killer could be but the villain one of my bets from the beginning. As usual she was really good at keeping us in suspense.

She also gives enough space to Noah and Eve to get to know each other and their respective fears before embarking on a love relationship. I even thought they were a bit too reluctant after they really started talking about themselves, their past and their fears. I couldn’t wait for them to start talking about the future.

This was also a sort of a reunion book because in the end we see the characters of Rose’s first books appearing. Dana, Mia, Caroline and their respective husbands, it was just a peak at how they are now but I was left wondering if the next book would be about Olivia, Mia’s sister and David, the guy who has loved Dana for so long but now seems ready to move. I can’t wait to find out.

Grade: 4/5

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