Ashes of Aries

by Martha C. Lawrence

St. Martin's Minotaur, Sept., 2001.
Hardcover, 241 pages.
ISBN: 312202997

Ashes of Aries by Martha C. Lawrence Psychic investigator and private detective Elizabeth Chase is called in to help with the investigation of the kidnapping of a four year old boy, the son of the multi-millionaire CEO of Starcom, a telecommunications giant. Although the FBI is openly scornful of her abilities, detective Bruce Loebman of the San Diego Police Department and a female arson investigator are willing to work with her to find the truth. When the kidnapped boy's parents are killed in a fire which spread rapidly because of the hot Santa Ana winds, it appears that there is more going on than a simple kidnapping; clearly an arsonist and a murderer are at work here.

Dr. Elizabeth Chase (she holds two Ph.D.s from Stanford) is an unusual and compelling heroine. Skeptical of psychic phenomena herself until she experienced psychic visions, Elizabeth is learning more about her abilities as time goes on. She is aided in her journey by her mentor, the mysterious shaman, Sequoia, a Luiseno Indian. Martha C. Lawrence skillfully evokes the flavor and atmosphere of Southern California, including the destructive phenomenon of the Santa Ana winds. This series gets better with each outing, and Elizabeth Chase is one private detective who should be around for a very long time. Highly recommended.

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This review was published in the Dec. - Jan., 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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