An unconventional mystery with a twist.
A Stranger’s Touch by Roxy Boroughs
Single mom, Maggie Holmes, is a by-the-book Calgary cop, until her seven-year-old asthmatic son, Davie, is kidnapped. Frantically grasping at any hope, she turns to Stafford Webb, a psychic who retrieves information through his sense of touch.
Stafford is reluctant. Unbeknownst to Maggie, he helped with the Tommy Hutchinson kidnapping case six months earlier, but didn’t get to the child in time. Haunted by images of the boy, Stafford retreats inward and focuses on his other private obsession: finding the killer, James Ryan Morley – the man who also murdered Stafford’s older sister when she was sixteen.
But the desperation in Maggie’s eyes is too great for Stafford to ignore. Following his visions, they set off on a journey through the rugged terrain of the Northwest Territories – and along the jagged line between faith and reason.
I picked this e-book up a few months ago when it was offered for free. The description intrigued me and was right at the beginning of my new affinity for mystery stories. Overall, I enjoyed the book.
The story is told through alternating voices: Maggie’s, Stafford’s, and Maggie’s son, Davie’s. The effect is a smooth story line where the reader can keep up with the plot twists without the author needing to employ some kind of “meanwhile” mechanism. The story begins with Maggie going to pick up her son from school only to find him missing. She spots his backpack and knows something is wrong. She’s a police officer, so the author shows the reader a really nice balance of the emotional war she’s having between being a mom and knowing the realities of abduction cases. Maggie’s instructed to go home and told that, while the force will keep her informed, she’s too close to the case to be involved. On her way out, she runs into Stafford Webb and something tells her that he’s there about Davie’s abduction.
Stafford is a former FBI agent with very special skills. His sense of touch can reveal psychic information, making him a valuable asset to law enforcement. Straightaway, he’s drawn to Maggie and soon finds himself unable to refuse her request to visit the scene of the abduction. From their, the pair head to Canada’s Northwest Territories in search of Davie, finding their way by following Stafford’s visions and readings.
A Stranger’s Touch was a good read. I didn’t make the connection between the kidnapper and the relationship to Maggie and Davie until the author chose to reveal it to me, so that impressed me. There were a few instances when I felt as though the visions and revelations were a little too forced/that Stafford and Maggie had a little too easy of a road, but those cases didn’t overshadow my suspension of disbelief or hamper my enjoyment of the story.
Stafford and Maggie are drawn well and the author does a very nice job of illustrating the feelings and emotions both start to develop for the other, as well as their resistance and reluctance to make more out of their relationship. My main point of contention is about the romance . . . were I a mother whose child were missing, would I be dipping into the romance pool? I don’t know, so I can’t fairly judge, but it did give me pause.
Would I read more by Roxy Boroughs? I don’t quite know. But I did enjoy A Stranger’s Touch.