Point Horror

Second Sight

By Sinclair Smith.

Grayson was blind, but now – thanks to a donated pair of corneas – she can see. She has arrived in Brooklyn to live with her sister, Kara, and is happily spending her summer hanging out with new friend Mina, and flirting with sexy local construction worker, Jared. There is just one problem. Since her second eye operation, Grayson has had visions of a murder taking place on the balcony of a fancy apartment. When she recognises the scene of the crime in a news story about the recently murdered millionaire TV producer, Zeke Stuart, Grayson suspects it is Zeke’s right cornea she has inherited… and his final moments she is experiencing in her visions. Sneaking an illicit peak at her file during a routine check-up, however, Grayson discovers the donor was Aileen Mills, who died in a car accident. Chastened by the furious Dr Leeds, when he catches her snooping, and relieved her donor wasn’t murdered, Grayson decides to ignore the visions and move on with her life.

But when she gets her next vision, it is of a completely different murder. This time the location is a dockyard, and a warehouse watchman is the victim. She convinces an open-minded policeman – Detective Soames – that her visions are credible, and Soames reveals that he knew Aileen Mills, because she was a psychic who worked with the police. Grayson’s latest premonition saves the watchman, and she starts to believe she has inherited Aileen’s psychic abilities. But someone else believes it too, and starts leaving Grayson threatening messages warning her not to thwart their murderous plans again.

The first half of Second Sight offers everything you could want from a murder-mystery. There is an appropriately sized and varied cast of characters, all of whom could be the killer, which kept me guessing and switching my convictions most of the way through. Grayson is just likeable enough that we remain on her side throughout. And the Manhattan/Brooklyn backdrop, melting in the New York heat, is a refreshing change from the ambiguous small-town setting of most Point Horrors. But after the midway point, situations become increasingly unbelievable and the very late introduction of a new character breaks whodunit-etiquette, and leaves the reader feeling cheated out of a decent twist. Two unnecessary, awkward epilogues end the story on a sour note. Second Sight starts on a path to being one of the most entertaining entries in the Point Horror franchise, but when it loses its way, it does so irredeemably.


Fear Factor

Even when it entertains, there is not much to fear in Second Sight. We are told Grayson’s visions are terrifying, but the brief descriptions offer little insight into her experiences. Any horror that might have been conjured up by the finale is overshadowed by the jarring grand reveal and its confusing fallout. An epilogue, which aims to suggest the threat is not yet over, falls flat due to it not making any sense. Still, whilst the killer’s identity remains a mystery, there is an element of danger in Grayson’s interactions with the other characters, creating a convincing feeling of unease and earning Second Sight a slightly less than dreadful fear factor rating of…


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