Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Review - The Long Way Home © ZA Maxfield

The Long Way Home

Author: Z.A. Maxfield

Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press

Buylink

When young boys go missing, psychic Kevin Quinn is called in to help the police department. Quinn’s partner is Connor Dougal, a newer detective on the force, and a sceptic when it comes to psychic abilities. That is until strange things happen to Kevin when he touches objects belonging to the missing kids. Even more disturbing is the way Kevin can participate in Conner’s dreams. Conner’s past is more tied to the current case than anyone realizes and it’s only by lancing the pain of the past there is a hope for the future.

They arrived back at Connor’s apartment at almost noon, going into separate rooms to put on more casual clothes. Connor was afraid Kevin would puke on one of his good suits, but since he couldn’t say for sure he wouldn’t puke if the situation were reversed he didn’t hold it against him.

They both returned to the coffee table, on which Connor was laying out another handful of pictures of a boy, this one slightly older. This time, the boy’s picture was taken in a soccer uniform, and Connor had an immediate pang of despair. Ryan Anders was so young, and he looked like a thousand, no, a million other boys his age in his uniform, including Connor himself when he was that age. How does the guy pick them, he wondered again, why these boys? There was almost never an answer.

Connor watched Kevin as he steeled himself for the grim task at hand, holding his hand out for the first item, a battered hooded sweatshirt with the green and gold Edison High School Chargers shield and lightning bolts on it. Connor watched closely as Kevin held it. He’d actually brought him a trashcan, just in case.

“Stop looking at me as though you’re waiting for old faithful to blow,” said Kevin finally.

“I’m sorry,” Connor looked at the floor. “Yesterday was damned awful. I guess I’m not used to it yet.”

“You’re not used to it? Who gets used to it?”

“Anything?”

“Nothing yet,” said Kevin. Connor handed him a hairbrush, which he held for a while, shaking his head again.

Looking at Kevin, Connor felt worried. Based on what he saw yesterday, the items that belonged directly to the person in question, or that they cherished, were the most troublesome. He held a bag in his hand with a Teddy bear inside, and wondered if he should tell Kevin that it had one of Ryan’s baby teeth sewn into a special pocket. He debated the wisdom of that, yet was still skeptical enough to want Kevin himself to prove he could sense it. He unwrapped the bag and handed the stuffed animal to Kevin.

Later, Connor would recall the look of trust on Kevin’s face as he reached out for the bear, the rueful smile in place indicating he was willing to give anything a try, and then the sudden distress on his face as he gasped in a deep, rattling breath. Connor tried, but was unable to catch Kevin as his knees locked, and he dropped to the floor like a stone, hitting his head with a thud that practically stopped Connor’s heart.

“Damn, Kevin,” he called, racing for the fallen man, “Kevin! Crap, Kevin!” he shouted, loud enough to wake the dead.

Connor dialed 911 on his cell phone and checked Kevin for the ABC’s: airway, breathing, and circulatory, finding Kevin’s pulse, but watching his lips turn blue. He tried to open Kevin’s mouth to check his airway but the man’s jaw was clenched firmly shut. He told the emergency operator that he was alone and put his phone on speaker, talking to him while trying anything he could to help Kevin, who wasn’t breathing and whose face was turning a grim shade of grey. Connor knew what to do; it just wasn’t working. He shouted helplessly at Kevin, who was still holding the bear, and yanked it from his white knuckled hands.

Kevin gasped in a great lungful of air, like a man drowning, and then panted so noisily the operator asked Connor what was happening. Connor was practically sobbing with relief when the paramedics arrived. Taking no chances, they transported Kevin to the hospital, with Connor following behind. He turned in to the Hoag Hospital parking lot almost as soon as they did, and ran straight to Emergency, where a stable Kevin was sheepishly explaining that he didn’t have seizures, but may have eaten something funny.

The Long Way Home © ZA Maxfield

Review

Former police officer turned psychic, Kevin Quinn, is called back to California by his brother-in-law when boys start going missing. Despite is reluctance to leave his lonely exile home of Wyoming he agrees to help. Only concerned with getting there and doing what he can to help, he pushes everything else that may affect him onto the back burner.

Wanting to keeps is involvement on the case as quiet as possible, he is partnered with a new shield detective, Connor Dougal. With the usual scepticism, Connor discounts Kevin’s ability until Kevin accidentally sees his dreams. Then it’s a whole new ball game.

Connor is asked to house Kevin for the duration of the case, not for any vital reason other than because he’s rich and his lifestyle can afford for the department to keep Kevin a secret. Meeting Kevin was not what he expected, but after a few days with Kevin, he can hardly imagine not having Kevin in his home.

With the case a year old and no leads, Kevin insight is spot-on when he discovers an irregularity. However in the scheme of things Kevin is just as good as the information he is given, and although he has had this gift for a while, he looks at it as “the gift that keeps on taking” as the wear and tear to his body is shocking. Connor is incensed when he realizes what is happening and steps in to help. Opening Kevin’s past is like opening a can of worms, however Connor is determined to help this man… the man he wants to claim as his own. Kevin is too much of a realist to accept that Connor is genuine in regards to his feelings and it’s this thinking that may cause him to lose everything.

After reading THE LONG WAY HOME, I literally had to take a day or two to process this book – it was that good. This was my first book by ZA Maxfield, but you can bet your bottom dollar it won’t be my last.

The book starts off with some intense and touching moments and to be honest, the author kept the twists and turns, the ebbs and the flows coming thick and fast all the way through this absolutely stunning read.

Kevin, a recluse by his own choosing, has not only returned to a situation where he is the butt of every joke, but also back to his home town and a family that he has not seen in years. With his gift, shaky at best and patchy at worst, he jumps right into the fray of things. He has a shock however, as his “trekkie” takes on the challenge of supporting him when is gift get a bit too much for him – and this is the point I fell right overboard in love with these two men.

Connor is the classic boy next door, sweet, charming, and modest, but also has the ability to recognize the fact, than in order for him to experience true happiness and fulfilment, he has to make some hard choices and he faces them head on.

THE LONG WAY HOME is not just a love story, with a murder mystery theme. This book has a plot that readers will not easily forget. The book is all about new beginnings, the joy and the pain of family, acceptance and forgiving with grace. There are numerous emotional high and low point in this book, but the characters are so well scripted, they cry, they laugh and they know how and when to say sorry, that you feel every emotion with these wonderful men.

I for one will be thumbing through the pages of THE LONG WAY HOME, for a long while yet.

 

P.S. Over the past weekend I re-read two books with psychic element that I read a while ago and loved, I wanted to see if my opinion of them had changed – It has not. Still loved them.

The other one will be posted later..

9 Speak To Me:

Eyre on 5 May 2010 at 13:28 said...

Fab review, E.H.! I'm a ZAM addict. I'm so glad you enjoyed her book. She has some great ones!

Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2010 at 13:37 said...

@Eyre..


I have become a fan - I've since read Drawn Together and another book..

Loved them..

E.H>

Tam on 5 May 2010 at 15:09 said...

I am also a ZAM fan. Glad you enjoyed it. I really like her writing and hope you'll enjoy her other offerings.

Lily on 5 May 2010 at 16:19 said...

I've had this sitting in my TBR for months. I should move it up, sounds really good.

Chris on 5 May 2010 at 20:33 said...

I liked this one, but have always wondered if I got some sort of aberrant early version of it, because mine had hardcore editing issues... :(

Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2010 at 21:00 said...

@Tam..

Me too - I loved Connor so much... Possessive and have loads of issues....

I must add more of her book to my list..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2010 at 21:01 said...

@Lily

Read, read now...

I'll look out for what you think of it..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 5 May 2010 at 21:02 said...

@Chris..

I popped onto Goodreads to see your review - I wonder which book you were talking about..

I had none of those issue with this book - A solid read for me..

A re-read might be in order...

E.H>

Tracy on 5 May 2010 at 21:33 said...

I really liked this one as well. This was my first read by this author and like you will be reading more in the future.