This is the 14th book in Paranormal 13. Apparently, there are 14 books instead of 13 like the title suggests.
At first, after reading the first few pages of this book, I thought, “This guy is way too narcissistic for me,” because of the way the author made the main character so cocky. There is a part where he gets detained by two casino employees. They start reading from a file they had compiled about him and start reading off all of his accomplishments. One of the casino thugs reads, “Darren Wang Goldberg, graduated Harvard with an MBA and law degree at eighteen. Near perfect SAT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, scores. CFA, CPA, plus a bunch more acronyms.” I was just thinking that this author went WAY too overboard on trying to make this guy too cool and impressive. But then the author goes on to explain that he got those basically by cheating which peeked my interest.
Darren discovered when he was about nine or ten years old that he could go into something that he calls “The Quiet” where time basically stops and everything stops moving. He can step out of his body and do all kinds of things like in the casino where he goes into the Quiet and looks at all the players’ cards and the tops cards in the dealer’s deck. He can move things around but when he goes back into himself, everything is back where it was when he started.
As far as he knows, he is the only one who can do this until a woman sits down at the poker table and when he goes into the Quiet, she’s doing the same thing. She looks at him and then runs. He was detained by the casino thugs so she got away but the thugs have a file on her too so he looks at it and vows to find her.
I knew without looking that a man wrote the book. There are differences in the way women and men write…well, most of the time…J.R. Ward writes like a man but besides her, I can usually tell the difference between men and woman’s writing. One difference is that women tend to be overly moral. Their heroes and heroines have strict moral and ethical boundaries. Their heroines are virtuous and rarely slutty yet the men are sometimes he-sluts. They don’t usually cheat, steal or take advantage of people. Men, on the other hand, stretch the moral boundaries of their characters. Darren’s character had no problem cheating, stealing and getting paid for doing nothing.
I laughed a lot while reading this book. The author, Dima Zales (one of those names that could be female or could be male), had a great sense of humor. I could tell the author is highly intelligent and maybe even a bit of a nerd just by his humor. I have a few nerds and computer geek friends and know that they notice hilarious things about people that average people don’t see and when they point it out, it cracks me up. This author did that.
So, Darren works at a hedge fund company in New York. I was unclear about what his title was or what he actually did for the company but it sounded like his boss thinks he is some sort of profiler or mentalist who reads the body language and other clues of people. His boss calls him into his office and asks him to “do what you do” and interview the CTO of some company to find out what their big announcement that they are going to announce in a few weeks will be. If they can find out what it will be, they will have an advantage over others in the financial market.
Darren uses his gift and freezes time or whatever it is he does. The author goes into great detail explaining it later but my eyes glazed over and I skipped a bunch of it. Anyway, he freezes time and rifles through the CTO’s desk and finds the information. He then notices things that a mentalist would notice like how the CTO was looking down while he was talking which meant he was lying and how there were two books without dust on them on the bookshelf about the subject of what the company was working on. After getting the information, Darren writes up an email to his boss and sets it to go out on Friday to make it look like he had been working on it all week since his boss will never know because he works from home a lot. He then decides to take the rest of the week off. Do you see what I mean about his sketchy ethics?
He has his computer hacker friend help him find, Mira, the woman from the casino and he goes to her apartment in Brooklyn. She’s not home but her brother is. He answers the door with a gun pointed at Darren.
Darren learns that Mira and her brother can both do what he does but they call themselves “Readers”. Readers have enemies called “Pushers”. Mira’s brother, Eugene, teaches Darren how to “Read”. When he is in the Quiet, if he touches a person, but it can’t be another Reader, he can read their mind. Depending on how strong a Reader is, they can read back for an hour, day or longer. Darren seems to be able to go back many years which astounds Eugene.
Pushers can push people to do things they don’t want to do like kill other people. Mira and Eugene seem to think all Pushers are evil.
Mira gets kidnapped by some thugs and Pushers are behind it. Now, Darren has to help rescue her using his gift.
I liked Darren’s character and I enjoyed the book. I did get a little lost when Eugene went into detail of how their gift worked but it was only a few paragraphs that I skipped over. Maybe one day, I will read the rest of the books in the series.