Summary: Flashes is the first in a new series of YA paranormal crime novels in which a 17-year-old girl cannot help seeing glimpses of dead people who seem to want her aid – much to the consternation of her boyfriend, who has just started work for the local CID.
As soon as my eyes fell upon the synopsis of Flashes, I was instantly intrigued and knew that it was a book I wanted to read. Paranormal and crime? Yes please! I had not read anything by Tim O’Rourke before so aside from this, I had no expectations as I went into the story. Fortunately this turned out to be an entertaining read and I definitely think that I’ll be picking up the next book, or even just another Tim O’Rourke book! Saying that, I also wasn’t blown away by this book and it isn’t likely to win awards but it is enjoyable and well worth the read, especially if you just want to escape for a few hours.
Charley has been seeing flashes of how certain people die for as long as she can remember. It is something that causes her physical pain and so it was hard to hide meaning that all her friends pushed her away, considering her a complete freak. Then Natalie arrives and Charley finds in her a true best friend. Until she dies. Now Charley is alone again, with no one truly believing in her flashes, so she decides to get some proof. Upon finding the rigt location, she stumbles into Tom, the new CID in town. A connection between them is made and thus ensues them working together to find out who the murderer is, if there even is one. One of the biggest issues I have with this book, and why it just didn’t blow me away, is because the plot is very generic. It followed the structure of the genre simply and there were just no surprises, at least not for me! I was also hoping that there would have been some explanation about the flashes but that also never came. However, fortunately, the storyline was bearable due to great characters and intense writing.
Charley was a stronog character in this story. She had been through an awful lot and while there were times when she was quite naive, I felt this just added to her character and made her feel more realistic. Tom, however, was an even stronger character. He wanted to do what was right, even if it meant bending the rulebook slightly and he wasn’t afraid to stick up for what he believed in, which was something that I just really enjoyed reading about. There were a few times when the relationship between these two characters didn’t feel quite right but fortunately this was just few and far between. Aside from that, they worked really well together and I’m looking forward to reading more about their relationship in the rest of the series.
What really helped this book was the writing style. It was fast-paced and exciting, really pulling your attention in to the book. It was also full of tension that caused your heartbeat to race. It was thrilling and slightly scary in a few places as well, truly managing to make you feel an array of emotions as you read the book. Tim O’Rourke managed to make this book exciting, and, like all crime books I read, I still wanted to know if I was right about the mystery unfolding on the pages. So even though I was right and it didn’t have a major twist, I still found myself enjoying the story for what it was, which is a great sign of writing a book well – it kept the reader wanting to know!
All in all, Flashes is a decent book that hits all the right spots. It’s an entertaining read, makes your blood race and your guesses go wild. It was thrilling and exciting even though it was also generic and easy to guess who the murderer was. I do still wish there had been more on the flashes themselves as I feel this would have brought extra mystery into the book and would make it seem less like a plot ploy, however, it does work as it is. I’m definitely going to read the next one and look forward to seeing where this duo will go. If you like Paranormal, Thrillers and Crimes then I am sure you’ll enjoy this book and should definitely give it a try. It may not be the next big thing, but it’s still a great way to spend a fair few hours!
** I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **