Published by Chicken House on June 5th 2014
Flashes is the first in a new series of YA paranormal crime novels in which a 17-year-old girl cannot help seeing glimpses of dead people who seem to want her aid - much to the consternation of her boyfriend, who has just started work for the local CID.
I’ve always been a huge fan of both adult Crime and Paranormal novels but FLASHES was my first experience of a YA story combining both genres and I enjoyed it very much.
FLASHES is about a seventeen year old girl named Charley who, since she was a child has experienced visions or “flashes” of what appear to be the harrowing deaths of girls. When her best friend dies in an apparent suicide by train and Charley experiences flashes of a similar incident soon after she realises that perhaps these visions are clues to the deaths of girls who lived in her area and instead of being accidental or suicide they could in fact be murder…When a young detective called Tom meets Charley near the alleged crime scene, their connection leads to a sharing of facts and what seem to be improbabilities but soon unfold to be chilling truths.
I really liked Charley as an MC. She’s a strong character with a compassionate nature. She hasn’t had an easy time of it after losing her mother when she was a child and then experiencing ridicule and bullying after confiding in friends about the flashes that consume her life. When she meets Tom she experiences a glimmer of hope that someone finally believes her and she throws herself into figuring out the mystery behind her visions.
The book is told from both Charley’s and Tom’s POV and it was interesting to have Tom’s perspective as it really showcased the author’s knowledge of investigation and his background as a police officer. I enjoyed learning about the different aspects of police work and the approach to crime scenes. Tom was a sweet character who I thought was a good match for Charley and I liked the development of their friendship however I did find as it made its way into romance-land it was a bit rushed but it didn’t overpower the story for me thankfully.
The paranormal aspect to this thriller was interesting and definitely kept me on my toes. I liked the pacing of the novel and felt it never really dropped off and retained my focus. Admittedly I did guess the outcome early on in the novel but it didn’t hamper my overall enjoyment of the book and the development of the storyline.
FLASHES is a fun, intriguing mystery and I look forward to reading more from this author and seeing what Tom and Charley get up to next!