Author ~ Charli Coty
Publisher ~ NineStar Press
Published ~ 30th January 2017
Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance, Mystery
Colin Page, eighteen-year-old community college student, apple polisher and all-around goody-goody, has a secret. He sees things that aren’t there. Unfortunately, the Doc Martens on the floor of the mail vestibule in his apartment building really are there and attached to a dead body. Hunkered over the body is someone Colin had barely noticed before, Private Investigator Al Green. Most people scare Colin, but for some reason, Al doesn’t, even after he reveals that he knows about the hidden reality of their world.
Alonzo Green, despite his low-power mind, is determined to help right the wrongs he unknowingly contributed to. He’s also hopelessly smitten. He knows it’s wrong—probably even dangerous—to enlist Colin’s help with the investigation. And that’s before considering all Al has to fear from Colin’s fiercely protective and powerful mother.
Colin and Al put some of the pieces together, but as soon as one thing becomes clear, the picture changes. The search for the Big Bad takes them from Portland to Tacoma and Seattle, and eventually to San Francisco, but their journey into each other’s arms is much shorter.
Colin is an eighteen-year-old college student who sees things that aren’t there. As such he keeps himself to himself. At least he does until he happens upon a murder. Enter, tall, Mediterranean looking, PI, Alonzo, he knows the things Colin can see, and together they try to solve the murder.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Oh no, simple describes nothing about this story. It is intricate and involved, and at one point I thought the answer to, the frequently asked question of ‘What does that mean?’ was 42.
This is a mystery where all that happens is not always understood until later in the story. As such, I went through periods of confusion, and WTF moments. But, in the end, all gets explained.
You know those thermal maps we all see on the TV? – Well, Colin sees people and places like everyone else, but with the added aura of colour. The colour can determine anything from mood to personality. Then, there’s the twist where he can see tattoos move, walls change, dolls getting horny and a few other things that make one believe psychedelic hallucinogens are involved – but they’re not. And the more Colin uses his powers, the stronger they become. The phrase ‘The Plot Thickens’ is certainly one to keep in mind here.
Colin has a defensive sarcasm mechanism that he uses as a wall. He’s also a headstrong character, which has him frequently going head to head with Alonzo. Colin’s idea of helping often gets him into trouble, too. During these periods of dialogue, I occasionally lost track of who was talking to whom.
Re Alonzo, he shows Colin that he’s not on his own and that there’s a whole underground world out there. A world that is power hungry, with a different harvesting method. Al and Colin soon become protective/reliant on each other (producing a high heat rating). And, as the knowledge of this clandestine world emerges, so the cast expands and secrets come out of the woodwork.
The Visionary is a story with a main plot and several sidelines. But whether they all converge is something that you’ll have to read the book to find out. To name a few; there’s Colin’s college life, his mum, Gem, several murders, secret societies, and the relationship between Colin and Al. It’s a murder mystery, with a host of surrounding dramas and that something extra attached.
For me this story had a bit of Twin Peaks feel about it, in that - the iconic TV series confused the shit out of many people, but the populous couldn’t get enough of it.
I admire the intricacy of the plot and imagination that went into this story. Occasionally, I found it tough going and concentration, and coffee were needed. But if you like a complex story, this is right up your street.
Meet Charli Coty
Charli Coty is the pseudonym of the author also known as Charley Descoteaux. She has always believed in magic, aliens, and things that go bump in the night. When forced to venture out into the “real world” she can be found in a cramped cubicle surrounded by far too much light, erasing bisexual erasure, or knitting something naughty. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. Charli has survived droughts, earthquakes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.