Conduit by Angie Martin has a great premise with an interesting blurb that will grab readers who are fans of suspense and thrillers, with a little supernatural on the side (if you think a character having ESP is considered supernatural). The first half of the story builds up the tension and lays the case for the female protagonist who becomes the obsession of a serial killer. But as the serial killer is revealed, the story takes a typical turn and is very planned in it’s execution, leading to a very uneventful and unsurprising end. Also the secondary characters, including Emily’s best friend and love interested aren’t that dimensional, including the serial killer David, who is pretty much like any other serial killer found in this type of book. But the time we reach the climax with Emily and David, my interest waned because the build up to their confrontation took too long.
Emily and her best friend Cassie, a former police officer own and operate their own investigation company. Emily is psychic and can tap into people’s emotions and feelings, which helps her on cases. One day something taps into Emily, causing her to do automatic writing against her will, falling into a blackness filled with fear and horror that makes her sick, including hearing faint voices crying out for help. The reason Emily has been targeted is because a serial killer is torturing and killing women, seven so far, in order to reach out to Emily who he bumped into one day at a coffee shop. David feels a connection with Emily since he’s also psychic, and in his sick mind is in love with her. Until Emily figures out who he is and where he is so they can be together, he’ll continue to torture and kill women until he and Emily are fully connected.
It takes Emily some time to realize David is calling out to her. She will help the police catch him, but it starts to take a toll on her. During this time she begins a romance with Jake, a man who works with her ex-boyfriend lawyer, which is a complication. Also, Jake has psychic tendencies also, which helps him get close to Emily, which in turn leads to them developing a sexual relationship. But as Emily gets closer to finding David, danger comes knocking on her door in the form of David who targets someone she loves, causing her to take a change and confront David on her own in order to save that person she loves, and stop this maniac before he kills again.
Conduit isn’t all that suspenseful or thrilling. It has that been there, done that feel. I just wasn’t engaged as I hoped for. David doesn’t have an outstanding seductive personality. He’s this phantom who whispers in Emily’s mind with the only purpose to hurt and kill women, and nothing else. His motivation mimics other types of serial killers found in romantic suspense. Also the way he accomplishes his crimes and his freedom to do so is very weak, and again has been used in many other types of books of this nature. David isn’t a Hannibal Lector by a long short, or even close to Chelsea Cain’s Gretchen Lowell. Those characters are superior disturbed monsters and serial killers done right.
Conduit’s wow factor is minimal, although the writing and character development had some merit. Emily is a heroine you can sympathize with, but she stuck in a story and a plot that has more fizzle than pop.