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With Red Hands    by Stephen Woodworth order for
With Red Hands
by Stephen Woodworth
Order:  USA  Can
Dell, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Stephen Woodworth's Through Violet Eyes introduced the 'Violets', humans born with violet eyes who possess the attribute (at times a benefit yet at times a curse) to be trained as conduits for the dead. Six years have passed as With Red Hands begins.

Natalie Lindstrom, one-time investigator with the North American Afterlife Communication Corps (NAACC, a society for training the 'Violets'), rides a roller coaster this time around. While attempting to build a new life, Natalie is determined to protect her five-year old daughter Callie from the influences of the NAACC. Natalie is pursued by a killer, and her family members and friends are also in danger. Her mother Nora has been institutionalized for many years, believed to be mentally ill. Nora always talks about a demonic force called the 'Thresher', a.k.a. 'Needlepoint Killer'. Natalie's father and stepmother live in New Hampshire, and are not immune to the evil that lurks around the corner. The lives of her friend, Los Angeles deputy district attorney Inez Mendoza, and husband Paul are also in jeopardy.

Inez approaches Natalie for assistance in prosecuting a high-profile case, the brutal murder of the parents of teenager Prescott Scott Hyland, Jr., who had a substantial inheritance as motive. Natalie hesitates for fear of a backlash from the NAACC, which has stationed a watchdog at Natalie's door. Events lead to Natalie's agreeing to help Inez, doubling the danger to herself and Callie, as 'employing a non-Corps Violet in a criminal investigation is a felony.' Shrewd defense attorney Malcolm Lathrop hires inscrutable Lyman Pearsall (a Violet) as a conduit for Scott's murdered parents, assisting Scott's defense. There is much more involved, including high courtroom drama, scientific 'soul scan', and high-paced, heart-stopping, chilling adventure - which I leave for readers to discover.

Don't miss With Red Hands, which is well worth the 'goose bumps'! Fans will be glad to hear that Woodworth is hard at work developing more in the Violets series.

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