Author E.A. Mourn’s apparent influences for her debut novel Deadly Intuition range from the television and movie series Highlander to formulaic horror movies and supernatural romances. Her protagonist Megan Chiles has disturbing often prophetic dreams that lead her to discover that she has supernatural powers. After a dispiriting childhood the death of her brother and an isolated and hyperbolically accomplished youth Megan becomes involved with the love of her life Jack Bannister who happens to be her psychiatrist. She also discovers that she is destined to save humanity from an ancient and cross-dimensional evil entity.
Mourn’s writing is strongest when she takes inspiration from life whether she’s describing her protagonist’s frustrating experience with an unhelpful bridal shop assistant her cautious friendship with a coworker her love for her cat her runaway emotions or her interactions with Jack even if they’re generally rather maudlin:
‘Megan? Why don’t you marry me?’ He had no idea that he was about to say that until it was out. If he had he would’ve phrased it so that it wouldn’t have sounded like: ‘Megan why don’t you ever bake cherry pie?’….but there it was and he meant it. She could barely speak through the tears of joy. ‘I can’t think of anything I would rather do’ she said. She kissed him deeply on the mouth which was all the motivation they needed to again fuse together into one…a single being comprised of the best of both of them.
The book’s weakest moments come with Mourn’s descriptions of the horrendous behavior of her villains including an offensively stereotypical mental patient named James Magruder the only character Mourn really develops besides Megan herself. Both characters change and develop over the course of the plot but the novel’s most revolting moments are associated with James. Other flaws in this novel include Jack and his friend Larry Solomon’s unrealistic shockingly unprofessional banter and a digression into the life story of Jack’s friend Kirby.
The slow moving plot is further stalled by Mourn’s tendency to linger over scenes of carnage in ways that don’t advance the story or give it more impact and she often includes events that could as well have happened offstage as it were.
Deadly Intuition is deeply felt but solidly derivative and would benefit from thoughtful editing and the judicious removal of some gratuitously repulsive moments. Although the novel suffers from twisted syntax unrealistic characterizations and inconsistent text formatting readers will appreciate the protagonist’s vivid dreams and other moments which are rendered with detail and care.
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