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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Colour of Death by Michael Cordy

I was sent this book as I'm part of the Transworld book group (see here for details)
When I was selecting the books I would read as part of this group I decided to pick a favourite author, 1 from each of my favourite genres and the last would be something new to me but which appealed in some way and this is that book.
In a residential neighbourhood of Portland, Oregon, an unknown young woman uncovers a shocking crime scene by inexplicably sensing the evil within its walls. To the police, she is a mystery. She can’t even tell them her own name. They christen her Jane Doe.

Suffering terrifying hallucinations, Jane is assigned to Nathan Fox, a forensic psychiatrist struggling with his own demons. Together they must piece together the jigsaw that is Jane’s identity.

Then a sequence of brutal killings terrorizes the city and Fox learns Jane is the only cryptic link between the unrelated victims. To solve the murders, Fox must discard his black and white preconceptions, look beyond the spectrum of normal human experience and confront the dark truth of her past…and his own.

Having read this book I found a lot of similarities in the plotlines between this and another book I have reviewed this year, Ultraviolet. They both deal with a young woman suffering from memory loss and synaesthesia who has been admitted to a mental health facility (People who have synaesthesia sense things in a different way to the rest of us, words can have a taste or smell, letters and numbers can have different colours even when all written with the same pen) but from this similar starting point the two books vary greatly.

The heroine, Jane Doe presents with not just one form but ALL forms of synaesthesia and even one that has not previously been documented. As we travel with Jane in her journey of discovery it's easy to understand just how terrifying the world around us could be should we suddenly loose our self in the way she has. We see Fox struggle to deal with his own personal demons which re-surface from this case as well as his inability to let anyone close to him again while also trying to keep what little family he has left safe. And then on top of all this is the horrific fact that there is a killer in the city who seems to be fixated on Jane.

I really don't want to give anything away from this book at all, I found it to be an amazing story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story moved along at a good pace, there were lots of details to make it easy to follow along from scene to scene and to understand the characters and their motivations. The writing flows so well that I am going to look at getting some more books by this author very soon.

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