She sees dead peo­ple

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 416 pages | Paper­back/ebook

Au­thor alex White

Pub­lisher so­laris

Ba­sic so­cial in­ter­ac­tion is gov­erned by un­spo­ken rules and body lan­guage cues that most of us take for granted, be­cause we don’t re­mem­ber learn­ing how they work. But for Lox­ley, who may be on the autis­tic spec­trum (the word’s never used in the book), tone of voice and fa­cial ex­pres­sion are parts of a for­eign lan­guage that she’s spent years learn­ing how to de­ci­pher, and that she has to work at ev­ery sin­gle day. Life would be com­pli­cated enough, frankly, if she hadn’t also in­her­ited the fam­ily knack of see­ing – and be­ing seen by – the ghosts of peo­ple who have died vi­o­lent deaths.

Alex White han­dles his non-neu­rotyp­i­cal pro­tag­o­nist with sen­si­tiv­ity rather than sen­sa­tion­al­ism; Lox­ley is smart, re­source­ful, cre­ative, and more than the sum of her dis­abil­ity, al­though with ev­ery­thing she goes through it’s a marvel she man­ages to keep go­ing. The same can’t quite be said of the world White builds around Lox­ley, a cor­po­rate­con­trolled in­dus­trial hell­hole that Charles Dick­ens would find OTT, or his plot, which starts out as a sort of dystopian noir but makes re­peated de­tours into sex­ual as­sault and Grand Guig­nol. Gripping but grim. Nic Clarke

Alex White mod­elled Lox­ley’s be­hav­iour on that of the brown recluse spi­der, Lox­osce­les reclusa – hence the name!

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