Mockingbird, by Chuck Wendig

I read an advance copy of this book via Netgalley.

Chuck Wendig's Mockingbird, the second book in the Miriam Black series, is a fast, frenetic read full of the supernatural and snark. I had a lot of fun reading this. I want to find the first book in the series so that I can spend a little more time with Miriam. She's a blast.

Miriam has more than a little bit of Lizbeth Salander to her. She's punk. She has a hard time being nice. She's always in trouble. But she has more of a sense of humor than Lizbeth does. I was snorting through the whole book because of her observations about people. And then there's the fact that, when she touches people, she knows how and when they'll die. Her life is hard enough, but her psychic ability makes everything harder.

After spectacularly loosing her job at a grocery story, a friend gets Miriam a small gig predicting the death of a private school teacher. It seems a little weird, but knowing gives the teacher some peace. But while she's at the school, Miriam sees the awful, awful death of two of the students at the hands of a serial killer. Of course, no official is going to believe that there's a serial killer in the vicinity because there are no bodies yet.

For the most part, the deaths Miriam sees are immutable. Nothing can be done to stop them. Sometimes, Miriam can change the circumstances. But when she sees a death, someone has to die. This price and her own nature keep her from interfering for the most part. But Miriam starts to track down the killer because no one, absolutely no one deserves to die like that.

By the end of the book, things have built up into an almost intolerable tension. This is the kind of book you can't put down because there is mayhem on every page and you never know when a character is going to die. I honestly wasn't expecting much, given the brevity of the book, but this was a cracking read.

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