Title: Black in White (A Quentin Black Paranormal Mystery Book One)
Publisher: White Sun Press
Author: JC Andrijeski
Price: $15.99 / .99 cents
Miriam Fox is a psychologist. After serving in the military, she now works as a civilian consultant to the San Francisco police department. Called in to assess a suspect in a string of ritual murders, Miriam is floored when the suspect — Quentin Black — speaks directly into her mind. Black is telepathic, and he knows Miriam’s secret: that she is psychic, too. Reluctantly joining forces with the mysterious Black, Miriam finds herself drawn into a conspiracy involving murder, fanatical religious cults, and refugees from a parallel Earth ….
Black in White was a title that popped up on a recommendations list. I like it when the automated algorithms actually work and bring a book to my attention which I might otherwise have missed.
A compelling and engaging read, Black in White is one of those stories that easily crosses and blends multiple genres: it is equal portions mystery, psychological thriller, and paranormal romance, with just a hint of science fiction. It is also unusual in that, even though the series is named for Black, the entire book is told from Miriam’s point of view. This was a clever tactic on Andrijeski’s part: rather than revealing everything up front (the existence of telepaths, the reality of a parallel Earth, the identity and motivation of the murderer), it forces the reader to learn everything right alongside Miriam.
And Miriam’s reactions to all of these stunning revelations are wholly understandable. She’s former military and a trained psychologist. She looks for facts and evidence, so when Black starts to explain all of this … well, she’s more than a bit skeptical.
I thoroughly enjoyed Black in White. So much so that I immediately downloaded the second book and then looked into how many books Andrijeski had added to the series since it began. So, my recommendation of Black in White comes with two caveats. First, the next book in the series, Black as Night, takes a sudden turn into grim and gritty territory. While the first book is a thrilling and engaging manhunt, the second book delves into human trafficking, child sexual abuse, and rape. I was stunned. It was a very difficult read and I actually had to take a break after finishing it. Second, the series is up to eleven volumes, plus two novellas. There is also the tie-in Bridge and Sword series, which can be read alone or with the Quentin Black books. That’s a lot of time and money for readers who become invested in the series — and, if you are like me, you will become invested in it.
That being said, I recommend Black in White to fans of Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series, Wendy Roberts’ Bodies of Evidence series, the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper books by JL Bryan, The Tarot Sequence by KD Edwards, and Forever Road by Catie Rhodes.
[Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of Eternal Haunted Summer.]