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The Grift    by Debra Ginsberg order for
by Debra Ginsberg
Order:  USA  Can
Shaye Areheart, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Elizabeth Schulenburg

Marina has spent her life peddling fake psychic abilities to wounded people in need of hope. As a child, it was a survival mechanism to keep her drugged-out mom's boyfriends away from her. As an adult, she has built up an extensive list of needy clients who pay her well to show them their futures. Of course, none of them knows that Marina doesn't believe that psychic ablility exists. She relies on intuition and close observation to give her clients insights into their lives that they aren't able to see for themselves. After moving to California to create a new life for herself, Marina finds that her past is not as easy to forget as she had hoped.

After setting up shop in California, Marina hires herself out for parties to boost her client base. At a lavish party thrown by the wealthy Madeline, Marina finds herself hired to do individual readings by two of the partygoers, Cooper and Cassie. Cooper is a wealthy gay playboy, who is in love with a man who refuses to acknowledge their relationship. Cassie is a cute, bubbly hairdresser in love with a married man. Madeline herself also enlists Marina's help, as it becomes clear that her marriage depends on her ability to conceive a child. As Marina attempts to help each of her demanding clients, their lives begin to become entangled with each other.

Just as Marina starts to feel that she is becoming too involved in the situations of her clients, Gideon enters her life. He tells her he has been looking for her, but because she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him, she doesn't press him for an explanation. She finds herself falling in love for the first time, and wishes she could tell him the truth about her life. Before she can, Gideon's relationship to her past is revealed with devastating consequences. As Marina tries to deal with her heartbreak, she begins to have visions of people and events that come true. When she has a vision of her own office burning down with Gideon inside it, she must discover how to interpret her visions to save her clients, and clear herself of murder.

Debra Ginsberg has written a very entertaining follow-up to her acclaimed first novel. Using an interesting and unique premise, Ginsberg delivers a funny, fast-paced tale. She has populated her novel with engaging characters whose struggles are honest and believable. The story never drags, even as Ginsberg offers us insights into the minds and hearts of her characters. If you are looking for a hard-to-put-down, quick and entertaining read, pick this one up today!

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