Imagine if you would every time you touched a person you saw their death. You get a psychic vision of the person’s death, the way, the day, and even the second. This is Miriam’s life. Still in her early twenties, she’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides and slow deaths by cancer
Chuck Wendig returns to the life, and many deaths, of Miriam Black in his latest book Mockinbird. In the follow up novel to Blackbirds Chuck shows us life after the turmoil that was the first book. She and Louis are living together, trying to make it work, but no matter how hard they try it just isn’t. Miriam packs up and is about to leave when he get an offer. All she has to do it go to an all girl school, touch a hypochondriac teacher and tell her when she will die.
Things chance when she accidentally touched a few girls and sees them all die the same same. The Caldecott School has a serial killer. To make matters worse the deaths are spread out, not by days or weeks but by months or years.
So how do you stop a serial killer when the deaths are years away?
Mockingbird returns us to the flawed character of Miriam. The cursing, drinking, smoking and slutting (is that a word) woman who sees people’s death. We still see the flaws of the first book, they make up our lead woman, but we also see new defects in her, like fear of commitment and the level of severity that her family issues weighs on her.
This book plays like a hard boiled thriller like Patterson or Kellerman, but with a paranormal slant. It’s got a chilling mystery with a series of villain creepier then the first. In the first book we had Harriet, a psychotic woman who just likes pain. In this book Wendig gives us a villain more fanatical in nature, like a religious zealot striking out against the heretics.
What I’ve always loved about Wendig’s novels is how takes an established genre, Urban Fantasy, and gives it a slight twist. We don’t have the wizards and mystical monsters; we have powers in a normal world. It’s like Heroes with a lot more death.
Mockingbird can be found at The Robot Trading Co.