One of the two narrators, Charley has visions she can't explain. It's a real downer to have the ability to see the death (and face) of a murder victim. It really sucks for Charley when no one (and that is to be expected) believes in her special powers other than her (dead) friend and Tom. Despite her outsider status, she manages to keep her head up and stay strong.
Tom, a young police constable who has quite a character/narrator, is on his first case. Accidentally, he runs into Charley and believes in her. Now, I enjoy the presence of love interest(s) in books, but I love (repetition: love) them when his/her (their) background is revealed in an amazing way. Tom, unfortunately, doesn't have much of a background, and honestly, when Charley and Tom talk together, they don't have much of a foundation other than Tom's faith in her psychic abilities and foresight. (Not to mention the age differences...) Still, I'm glad Charley has someone who is there for her.
The conflict is what truly draws me into the story. The mystery behind the murders (and all readers know they are all murders) and the killer's true identity keeps me turning the pages. Is the butler? Is the maid? Or is it the seemingly kind gentleman in the corner of the room? Well, it isn't exactly like that, but readers can be sure that there's a lot of red herrings and the killer who is too close to home (quite literally, actually).
The plot mainly focuses on the murders and the possible suspects. And not for a moment has Tim O'Rourke faltered in his writing. The romantic subplot is decent, but like I said before, it needs stronger connections between the two narrators.
The ending is the biggest headscratcher. It's the kind of ending that stays long after readers finish the book. Questions with little to no answers pop out like daisies, and a reread of the entire book is definitely on my to-do list. Still, the end is very enjoyable and satisfying, but also leaves potential sequels and loose ends hanging.
Overall, FLASHES is a great mystery novel with a psychic heroine and a young policeman. The murder mystery simply draws me in, and I absolutely love the red herrings. As for the killer... Intriguing and puzzling.
Rating: Three out of Five