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Hindsight by Melanie Casey


by Melanie Casey

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This is the first novel in Casey's Cass Lehman series set in Adelaide's Fleurieu Pensinsula and Adelaide.

Cass Lehman is psychic, more precisely she has the ‘gift’ of retrocognition … the ability to spontaneously re-live the last minutes of a person’s life. She has spent nearly a decade as a recluse, living quietly with her mother and grandmother, both of whom have similar gifts. Now she has decided that she should be using her gift more productively: perhaps she can be of assistance to the police in homicide cases.

Ed Dyson's pregnant wife Susan disappeared without trace two years ago and since then Ed has been keeping his own case files on missing women. But it takes Cass to see a pattern that he has missed.

This novel does a good job of introducing the people who will be the main characters of this series, and, while not everything is entirely plausible to me, the storyis interesting. ( )
  smik | Apr 3, 2016 |
Melanie Casey’s debut novel, Hindsight, has been on my wishlist since its release. It is the first book in a series to feature Cass Lehman, a woman with the psychic gift of retrocognition, and South Australian police detective, Ed Dyson.

For almost a decade, Cass Lehman has lived more or less like a recluse in the home she shares with her mother and grandmother. Travel is difficult when her gift of retrocognition means that when she passes over a place where someone has died in a violent or traumatic manner, Cass experiences their final horrifying moments. Now twenty eight and tired of her self imposed exile, Cass decides it is time to confront her demons and takes a huge risk by offering her services to the local police department after a woman is found murdered in an alleyway. The lead detective on the case, Ed Dyson, is scornful until Cass makes the connection between a handful of missing person cases and murders that has eluded Dyson for years, and the pair find themselves on the trail of a serial killer.

Cass’s ability is intriguing, and can be viewed as both a gift and a curse. She pays a high price for her ‘gift’, since she not only sees and hears what the victims experienced but also feels the physical pain and emotional trauma they suffered. I really like that Cass’s talent isn’t always useful, since Cass can only see what the victim saw in their last moments when the killer strikes from behind, for example, she isn’t able to offer much to a investigation.

The initial partnership between Cass and Ed is not an easy one. Ed is still struggling with the unsolved disappearance of his pregnant wife two years previously and doesn’t have the patience to humour Cass given his skepticism. Cass resents Ed’s easy dismissal of her, both because she believes she can help and because she is attracted to the detective.

Casey alternates between the first person perspective of Cass and third person perspectives from Ed, and the killer the pair are hunting. It’s an unusual narrative split but works well and I barely noticed the transitions. The plot is well crafted, and crucially Casey doesn’t allow the paranormal element to overwhelm the structure of a good crime novel. The pacing of the story is good with a tense, and somewhat gruesome, climatic ending that threatens the lives of both the protagonists.

Combining crime fiction with an interesting paranormal element and a touch of romance, I really enjoyed reading Hindsight. I’d particularly recommend it those who find the genre mix appealing and who might have liked Charlaine Harris’s Harper Connelly series. I’m looking forward to following Hindsight up with Casey’s second book, Craven. ( )
  shelleyraec | Aug 21, 2014 |
Cass Lehman is a young South Australian woman in her twenties living at home with her mother and Grandmother, and completely isolated from outside life. The reason? Cass comes from a line of gifted women: her Grandmother is a hands-on healer, her mother can see glimpses of the future and Cass experiences the death of a person when she occupies the spot where they died. In other words, she has retrocognition.

This paranormal gift is a curse for Cass and as a result she spends most of her time living and working from home. Cass and her family have charted all of the 'death spots' to avoid in her small home town, but she is growing increasingly frustrated with the limitations of her lifestyle.

When a woman in the town is murdered, Cass decides to offer local Police her help and is introduced to Ed Dyson. I'll say no more about what happens next except to say that it's the beginning of a thriller ride.

I just knew I'd love the novel as soon as I read the blurb and thankfully Hindsight lived up to my every expectation. I was instantly swallowed up by the story and immediately drawn in to Cass's world. Published by Pantera Press, this is an outstanding debut from Australian author Melanie Casey and it's exciting to see her burst onto our bookshelves in style.

Hindsight is the first in a series featuring Cass and Ed, with the sequel called Craven due out in June this year. I know it's only a few months away, but it's still not quick enough for this reader.

Highly recommended! ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Feb 12, 2014 |
Saw this book referred to somewhere as CSI meets Medium in print. Which will mean something to exactly the sort of readers that HINDSIGHT is pitched directly at.

Needless to say that's not me. Whilst my paranormal allergy has been mitigated slightly over the years by some extremely good books, it alas hasn't stopped the scratching when the story is 100% built around the paranormal aspects being such a central investigative tool. Granted in HINDSIGHT the local cops also start off not that impressed with the idea that Cass Lehman can see violent pasts as she moves into the location where they happened. Cass comes from a family of women each with their own paranormal gifts, so the restrictions her visions put on her daily life are not that surprising for her mother and grandmother. They are considerably more challenging for Detective Ed Dyson and his partner to get their heads around.

When a young woman is found dead in an alley and the tramp who witnessed something that night is killed in a car accident, Cass is thinking about the possibility of a serial killer working in the district, even while most cops are more than happy to write off the death as connected to her witness in protection status. There is, however, something devastating simple that connects this latest death to a series of previous disappearances, including Ed Dyson's own wife.

The story is well told, and the characters well drawn. There's the Medium paranormal and the CSI investigation aspect with a bit of ( )
  austcrimefiction | Jul 8, 2013 |
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Cass Lehman has a terrifying ‘gift’... She sees what others can’t...

Cass Lehman had the misfortune of being born into a family of extraordinary women with supernatural talents. Her mother sees the future, her grandmother is a healer and Cass has the less sexy talent of seeing the past... but not just any past events... Cass’s terrifying gift is triggered when she walks over a spot where someone has met their end in a sudden and brutal way. Not only does she see their death, but she feels it... she relives it.

So, for years, she’s hardly set foot outside... until now.

Spurred by a desire to have a life of her own, Cass decides to take her first tentative steps towards freedom only to find herself confronted by murder and mayhem in her sleepy hometown of Jewel Bay.

Taking a chance, she offers to help the local police track down the killer and finds herself thrust into working with the tormented and emotionally charged Detective Ed Dyson.

Together they battle to overcome his prejudice and her fear of using her talent aiming to stop a killer who's been operating quietly and systematically in their midst for years...

Can Cass save the killer’s latest victim... and herself?
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Cass Lehman has a terrifying 'gift'...The youngest in a family of extraordinary women with supernatural talents, Cass is cursed with the not-so-sexy gift of seeing the past...but not just any past; she sees death. For years she's hidden herself away in her family home. Now, desperate for a better life, she ventures into sleepy Jewel Bay, only to stumble upon murder and mayhem and a killer at large who's long been lurking in their midst. Taking a chance, Cass volunteers to assist Detective Ed Dyson with the investigation. Will Cass be able to save the latest victim - and herself?… (more)

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