Future Imperfect (Book Two) Miraculous Deception by PI Barrington
As we left the first instalment of PI Barrington's book Crucifying Angel, Payce Halligan is critically injured during a confrontation with a mad man. She is hurried to the hospital and put in the care of her best friend Dr. Georgene Channing, Medical director as well as Coroner. In this dry and tough environment Georgene's training make her a valuable commodity, albeit a very busy one. All facets of her jobs are understaffed and keep her extremely busy. As Gavin McAllister, Payce's partner watches over her, Georgene hustles around the room checking vital statistics from the Holo Animator attached to Payce. It appears that Georgene has been able to repair Payce's liver which was punctured during her run in. Gavin is exhausted and Georgene finally convinces him that Pace will make it, and to get some rest.
During a short lull in the hospital no one sees a silent figure slip into Payce's room and slowly cut her life support system. It is fifteen minutes before the alarm starts pinging and a code is called. By the time Georgene is back Payce is almost gone. There is nothing that Georgene can do as it has been too long. She remembers their new machine which has not been tested yet. It is a chance she is willing to take, Payce will be dead without it and it may just restart her systems. As Georgene shouts out her orders she is challenged by a new intern, Dr. McKaye. Georgene overrides him and as soon as the Visceral Disruptor is in place, gets everyone out of the room or behind the lead shield. Releasing the button, the whole hospital shakes as though in a quake. Payce's body arcs off the bed and immediately slams back down. As Georgene again attempts to use the machine for a second time she is stopped by Dr McKaye. "Look Dr. she is breathing on her own". Georgene is thrilled, she has been vindicated and her machine works, and her best friend Payce has been saved.
While Payce is hospitalized, Charlie Bowman, Head of LVPD has a decision to make. Crime does not stop and he has a man in need of a partner. He temporarily assigns Gavin to a veteran investigator, Nicholas Kincaid. This is an uncomfortable pairing as Nick also has feeling for Payce and jealousy creates a tenseness which makes for some challenging dialogue. They are called out to a crime scene where they find a small child. Georgene is there as the coroner and they determine that the child has numerous tumors denoting cancer. The mother has possibly killed her own child rather then putting her though needless suffering. A short time later they are called to a scene behind the Amazon Casino where they find the body of the child's mother, and a suicide note. She appears to have killed herself with a shotgun over her guilt at what she has done to her baby. The only thing that really keeps this open is that they are followers of the New Creation, the religious community that spawned the fanatic that nearly killed Payce.
Later as Gavin is in the hospital, tired out and sad at the outcome of his investigation, he hears Payce talking to him. He looks over to respond only to see she is still unconscious. Knowing he is exhausted he is embarrassed. Again he hears her this time telling him to have Nick watch over her while he stays at her house.
While Gavin does not believe this is real he talks to Nick who agrees to watch over Payce.
As Nick is called away to work with Gavin to finalize their investigation of the suicide, sending them into the heart of the New Creation religious community, Payce is kidnapped from the hospital.
Gavin and Nick are thrust into a dangerous game of search and rescue where all the players are not what they seem. Will they be able to find Payce in time, is the New Creation somehow responsible, and can they learn to work together well enough to piece together a conspiracy. Join Gavin and Nick on their journey into madness and deception at every turn. This is a fast paced and brutal whodunit.
This book is a great follow up to the first of the series, there are surprises at every turn, and while it is a book on deception and murder, the characters have great interplay and are quite likable, with a great sense of humor as well as petty attempts as jealousy. There is heartbreaking deception as well as the madness sometimes caused by great fanaticism. PI Barrington leads you to a great conclusion and sets you up for the next in her series. She leaves you wanting more....
This Review is based off a book obtained from the author. I am not receiving any compensation and all opinions are my own based off my independent reading of this material.