Samantha Leiffer knows she has relationship issues. Her sexy ex-boyfriend cheated on her with both men and women -- while she hasn't had a date in six months. She divides her time between teaching preschool and working in a way-off-Broadway theater box office, surrounded by people who make her young students seem mature by comparison. Her much-divorced mother is a famous relationship guru who prefers to communicate with Sam via emails and postcards (featuring quotes from her bestselling books!). And her superstitious grandma gifted Sam with an imagination -- or is it intuition? -- that sometimes gets the better of her.
Sam is certain she'll have a terrible Valentine's Day…and she's dead right. The day starts with a bad omen -- Dead Man's Fingers sending chills down her spine -- and things go downhill from there. The police visit her classroom, offering safety advice for the kids that stirs up terrifying memories for Sam. She's so unsettled she goes to an abandoned pier to stare out at the Hudson River…and inadvertently witnesses a powerful man and a scantily clad woman dumping an ice chest into the water. Before she can turn away, the man's gaze meets hers, and Sam's uneasiness turns to full-scale panic. His eyes are like mirrors, their silver surface reflecting burning fury. Sam flees to the dubious safety of her night job…but she can't get what she's seen out of her head -- not even when she learns that the man's strange eyes were just the effect of the latest rage, reflecting contact lenses called magic mirrors. Then a child's body is found in an ice chest identical to the one she'd seen, and Sam knows she was right to be afraid. Everywhere she goes now she finds traces of evil -- and even the sexy cop who believes her story may not be able to protect her from a danger that comes closer with each passing day.
This masterful debut definitely marks Alison Gaylin as a new writer to watch. Sue Stone