Review: Clarity by Kim Harrington

 

Title: Clarity

Author: Kim Harrington

Publisher: Point

ISBN: 978-0545230506

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.

Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It’s a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare’s ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case–but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare’s brother–who has supernatural gifts of his own–becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

Review:

Clarity is a fun mystery romp with a down to earth protagonist who just happens to be a psychic.  She’s not alone in her paranormal talents; her mother is a telepath, and her brother is a medium.  Clarity lives in a tourist town, and during the summer, she works at the family business entertaining out-of-towners with readings.  She’s resigned to another summer of being stuck inside instead at the beach when a tourist is murdered.  Her brother, Perry, is the prime suspect, and if Clare doesn’t want to spend all of her weekends in the foreseeable future visiting him in jail, she has to find the real killer.

I loved the family dynamics at play here.  Clare’s mom can read minds.  Think about it.  What if your mom could read your mind?? Do you think you would get away with very much?  Forget about keeping a secret.  Even if you have yourself convinced that you are keeping your thoughts all nice and safe, you are only fooling yourself.  And what if your brother could communicate with ghosts?  That could get kind of weird. 

Clare’s gift can be unsettling, too.  With just a touch, she can pick up thoughts and emotions from objects.  Her gift can be unpredictable, and there are times she wishes she didn’t have it.  Like when she touches something and discovers that her boyfriend has been lying to her.  Now that sucks big time.  But when her brother is suspected of murder, she is going to use her powers to the fullest to clear his name.

The setting is very vivid, and the relationships between Clare’s family and the townspeople is carefully fleshed out.  Few in town believe in their abilities and everyone  thinks that they are cheating the tourists out of their money.   Clare is quite surprised when the mayor asks her for help apprehending the killer.  Then she discovers that the town’s new police detective thinks she’s a fraud, and worse, his drop-dead gorgeous son, Gabriel, has an intense dislike for psychics.  How can they possibly work together to solve the case?

The character interactions were the highlight of the book for me.  Sparks fly between Clare and Gabriel, and you can almost hear them sizzle as you read along.  Clare also has a lot of unresolved issues to work through with her ex, and he is only complicating matters between her and Gabriel.   He hasn’t gotten over her, and it’s questionable whether she’s over him.  The tension between Clarity and her classmates also felt real and was convincing, adding yet another obstacle for her to overcome. 

I don’t usually like mysteries, but Clarity made me reconsider my stance on the genre.  It’s a solid read, with fun characters, a great setting, and a paranormal twist. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, because there are a couple loose ends that have me wondering what is going on.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher