BOOKLIST - March 1, 2000
|This is not the first novel to feature a psychic as an amateur sleuth, but it is one of the better ones. Sawyer and Witlin have crafted an intricate story (it begins with a suicide that might not be suicide, but that's just the jumping-off point) that challenges not only their fictional sleuth but his readers as well. The wonderfully named Mario Castigliani, who makes his living as a performing psychic, is a fresh and interesting character; it's especially nice to see him say what many readers will surely be thinking: that almost all so-called psychics are charlatans. Despite being skeptical about psychic phenomena, the authors ask us to, please, just for the sake of argument, assume what this one man does is genuinely clairvoyant. Those able to make that assumption will be rewarded with a fine crime novel. David Pitt|
WEB REVIEW from BOOKLORE.CO.UK
by Chrissi Rating (8/10)
Well, what can I say? This was the book that we were very kindly asked to read and review by co-author Mr Clyde Lynwood Sawyer Jr, and I must say that I really enjoyed it.
"An Uncertain Currency" is a beautiful two tier story, with the past and the present intertwined. Our main character is Mario Castigliani, an erratically gifted psychic who arrives in small town America, where he is asked by the local lawman to lend his talent to a series of suicides. The suspicions remain to the end, as to whether there have been any untoward happenings. This is linked with some very strange relationships and undercurrents among members of this small community.
It is a very low key mystery story, almost an aside to the man himself, his talent and how he came to the small town from rural Italy. There is a certain pathos to Mario, how his talent has shaped his life, from the first discovery to the honing of the show-business charlatans act, to the circumstances which led him so low as to be in this small town in America.
His relationship with his talent is the Uncertain Currency of the title, and it would have been very easy I think to allow the talent to be the story, as opposed to the man himself. I liked Mario, he is a lovely, flawed character, very human. It was a nice counterpoint to the superhuman power of his talent.
I have never been to America, nor have I been to Italy, but the authors have a great affection for the rural communities of which they write, and it communicates very well to the reader. The Italian meal on the menu would have tempted me, but the end result I agree with Mario would have left me unable to clear my plate.
The book, however, leaves me with no such problem, "Give Me More!" .
Chrissi (27th September 2000)
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