Washington thriller with a psychic spin, pitting a wishy-washy White House aide against a telekinetic sociopath, a superstitious vice president, a witchy spirit medium, and the ghost of a murdered novelist.
The plot of this latest tale from horror/suspenser Hynd (Cemetery of Angels, 1995, etc.) is so burdened with psychic silliness it could almost play as an X-Files novelization. William Cochrane, an underachieving, 40-year-old vice-presidential aide, returns from his father's funeral to find himself summoned to his boss's Georgetown house. George Farley, the fatuously Reaganesque President, is suffering from inexplicable losses of consciousness, and Vice President Gabriel Lang is troubled that an old curse placed on him might affect his likely move into the White House. It seems that Lang, who is wont to explain executive policy in terms of astrological arcana, can't sit down to a card game without being dealt a Queen of Hearts and a Queen of Diamonds, no matter how the deck is shuffled or who deals. Lang interprets this as a sign that he's doomed, then sends Cochrane to visit an old witch who hints that dark occult forces are involved. Meanwhile, a young couple are spooked by poltergeist phenomena as they renovate the basement of their quaintly historic Massachusetts home; a demented math teacher discovers he can snuff candles with his brain; a sexpot TV reporter stumbles on the story that will make her career; and the disembodied voice of an unpublished novelist breaks into the narrative with creepy italicized soliloquies about how, if not for the nasty doings of several villains, she could have been a contender. It isn't long before Cochrane, who is no Prince Hamlet, is nevertheless seeing his father's ghost while developing his own psychic talents to help the dead novelist get vengeance.
A quick, choppy, thoroughly preposterous read that forces campy, direct-to-video B-movie horror clichés into a blandly paranoid landscape of Washington intrigue.