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In an alternative present-day Lisbon, a small percentage of the population have been diagnosed as Gifted - having telepathic or telekinetic powers. Along with the power comes a stigma and suspicion that Gifted Inspector Isabel Reis with the Lisbon Police Force knows only too well. When Isabel is called to investigate a mysterious and violent death which hints at Gifted invo In an alternative present-day Lisbon, a small percentage of the population have been diagnosed as Gifted - having telepathic or telekinetic powers. Along with the power comes a stigma and suspicion that Gifted Inspector Isabel Reis with the Lisbon Police Force knows only too well. When Isabel is called to investigate a mysterious and violent death which hints at Gifted involvement, she knows it's more than just her personal reputation on the line. In a society where Gifted individuals are already viewed with mistrust, Isabel is hiding her own secret and knows she has to tread carefully as a conspiracy emerges and the body count rises.


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In an alternative present-day Lisbon, a small percentage of the population have been diagnosed as Gifted - having telepathic or telekinetic powers. Along with the power comes a stigma and suspicion that Gifted Inspector Isabel Reis with the Lisbon Police Force knows only too well. When Isabel is called to investigate a mysterious and violent death which hints at Gifted invo In an alternative present-day Lisbon, a small percentage of the population have been diagnosed as Gifted - having telepathic or telekinetic powers. Along with the power comes a stigma and suspicion that Gifted Inspector Isabel Reis with the Lisbon Police Force knows only too well. When Isabel is called to investigate a mysterious and violent death which hints at Gifted involvement, she knows it's more than just her personal reputation on the line. In a society where Gifted individuals are already viewed with mistrust, Isabel is hiding her own secret and knows she has to tread carefully as a conspiracy emerges and the body count rises.

30 review for The Colours of Death

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Patricia Marques's sci-fi crime thriller is set in the present day in an alternative Lisbon in Portugal, featuring a world of the stigmatised 'gifted', with either telekinetic or telepathic abilities, too often feared and hated by the 'regulars', with the PNP, the right wing political party, leading the anti-gifted agenda under the powerful Bento Soares. In the Policia Judiciara, Inspector Isabel Reis is a telepathic gifted, having to operate with her new partner, Inspector Aleksandr Voronov, a Patricia Marques's sci-fi crime thriller is set in the present day in an alternative Lisbon in Portugal, featuring a world of the stigmatised 'gifted', with either telekinetic or telepathic abilities, too often feared and hated by the 'regulars', with the PNP, the right wing political party, leading the anti-gifted agenda under the powerful Bento Soares. In the Policia Judiciara, Inspector Isabel Reis is a telepathic gifted, having to operate with her new partner, Inspector Aleksandr Voronov, a regular, there to ensure she sticks to the rigid regulations imposed on the gifted in the police. The two find themselves at the Gare do Oriente, where they find the oddest death in a railway carriage that has alarm bells ringing. It appears the victim had bashed their head repeatedly until they died, but terrified witness reports suggest this might be a crime committed by a telekinetic gifted with levels of powers that are unheard of. Matters become exacerbated when it becomes clear the murder victim is Gil Dos Santos, one of the heads of the National Testing Institute (NTI) that oversees the gifted, compiling a registry, the level of power an individual might have, providing guides, and carrying out the critical role of monitoring, rumours swirl of disappearances, secret experimentation and militarisation of the gifted. Reis, a woman with her own secrets, knows she has a high profile and a political nightmare of a case where her role will be under particular scrutiny, she is going to need her partner to have her back, and Vonorov has a past that raises concerns. With Julio Soares, the son of Bento, having connections with the dead man, he becomes an integral part of the police inquiry, along with the other head of the NTI, Celia Armindas. Reis finds herself facing further murders, dangers, obstacles and obfuscations, in a complex investigation, with the public increasingly baying for blood. Marques's debut novel was a joy to read, it was well plotted, beautifully written, atmospheric and engaged my interest from beginning to end. Isabel Reis made for a fascinating central protagonist, we are given her back story as a child, losing a father that loved her but died too soon, and a mother that rejected her when it became clear she was gifted. She has a brother in the church, Sebastiao, whom she has a close relationship with, and a sister, Rita, more under her mother's influence. Isabel has lived under the constant pressure of wanting to hide and control her telepathy, not seeing the below the radar celebration and acceptance of the gifted in Lisbon. This is a riveting and entertaining crime read with some original aspects that I think many readers will love. I am hoping this evolves into a series, it shows so much promise. Many thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Lisbon - present day. A small percentage of the population have telepathic or telekinetic powers who are known as The Gifted and Inspector Isabel Reis is one of them. She is called to a violent death on a train at Gare do Oriente and is accompanied by her non gifted new partner Aleksandr Voronov. The victim proves to be head of Portugal’s National Testing Unit, Gilde Santos. The unit studies, registers and monitors high level gifted like Isabel. The ensuing story is fascinating and compelling. I Lisbon - present day. A small percentage of the population have telepathic or telekinetic powers who are known as The Gifted and Inspector Isabel Reis is one of them. She is called to a violent death on a train at Gare do Oriente and is accompanied by her non gifted new partner Aleksandr Voronov. The victim proves to be head of Portugal’s National Testing Unit, Gilde Santos. The unit studies, registers and monitors high level gifted like Isabel. The ensuing story is fascinating and compelling. It’s refreshing to read something that has a different premise from the usual crime fiction, this one is a sort of sci-fi fantasy, dystopian crime thriller! I love the Lisbon setting, we get a good tour of it with visual descriptions and some accompanying mouth watering Portuguese food!! The main characters are good and I enjoy following the changes in the relationship of Isabel and Aleks as the investigation deepens. Isabel is direct, truthful and hardworking and the descriptions of what it’s like to have these powers are excellent. I like that there’s an air of mystery surrounding Voronov who you grow to like as a character. The toll it takes on Isabel as she senses so much of what’s around her is vividly articulated and gripping. For most of the novel the pacing is good, it occasionally drops off as we get some details we don’t really need in order to follow the plot line. In places it’s chilling, very creepy and there are some scary sections that send a freezing cold ripple down the spine. The storyline takes several twists and turns and one direction you don’t see coming. Whilst I do like the intriguing family dynamics that having a gifted member could provoke, I don’t think backtracking to Isabel’s childhood adds a great deal to the unfolding drama as it temporarily suspends the action. The ending is good and it’s fitting although it could have been more dramatic. I really hope there’s a follow up as I love the concept and I want to see what happens next for Isabel and Voronov. Overall, if you want to read something a bit different then this book fits the bill. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Hodder and Stoughton for the arc in return for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com The Colours of Death is a beautifully unique book that blends the thriller and sci-fi genres perfectly. Set in present-day Portugal, Lisbon to be precise, but not quite the Portugal you would expect as the country is split between normal people and ‘The Gifted’. These gifted people have one of two ‘gifts’ either telepathic or telekinetic power and on a scale of 1-10. We meet Inspector Isabel Reis who is gifted with telepathic skills. There is a divide wit Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com The Colours of Death is a beautifully unique book that blends the thriller and sci-fi genres perfectly. Set in present-day Portugal, Lisbon to be precise, but not quite the Portugal you would expect as the country is split between normal people and ‘The Gifted’. These gifted people have one of two ‘gifts’ either telepathic or telekinetic power and on a scale of 1-10. We meet Inspector Isabel Reis who is gifted with telepathic skills. There is a divide within the country pushed by the right-wing PNP a political party wanting anti-gifted laws and rules in place headed by Bento Soares. When Isabel is called to Gare do Oriente (train station), after a man died from head injuries in one of the carriages, it soon becomes clear that the man, Gil Dos Santos, was one of the heads of the NIT (National Testing Institute), the institute where the gifted are overseen and registered. It is alarming that it would seem that he was killed by a gifted person with off-the-scale telekinetic powers. With the country already fearing the gifted how are they going to react when it would seem one with powers never seen before has killed and may kill again. It is up to Isabel and her new partner Inspector Voronov to work the case and bring their killer to justice before blood is spilled on the streets. I’m not sure why the people with these unique skills are called ‘gifted’ given the reactions that they have on the individuals. Remember the scene in the movie ‘What Women Want’ where Mel Gibson can hear all the thoughts from the women near him? Well, this is what it is like for Inspector Isabel. To silence the noise she has to take a tablet that leaves her with a blinding headache that she has to work with and a need for food to fuel her body. Doesn’t sound like much of a gift to me! I found The Colours of Death a real joy to read. I loved the unusualness of the plot being set in the present day, but not like we know it. I adored that the scenes took place in a location I hadn’t read before in a thriller and the combination of the two genres worked well. The characters, especially Isabel, you could emphasise with and came across as realistic. This is a book I enjoyed from beginning to end. It kept me entertained the whole way through. It had me wanting to keep on turning those pages to not only see the case being built but to watch the team put the complex puzzle together, but to learn more about these gifted people and the lives of Isabel and Voronov too.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jannelies

    It’s a strange thing; people are often afraid of everyone that is not exactly as themselves. They are afraid of people with a different skin colour, a different culture, a different language and so on. The list is long. Too long. So when you are born with telepathic or telekinetic abilities, you either end up in a circus or an institution. At least, that is what used to happen. Nowadays, people with such abilities are not hunted down anymore. That is, except in this well-written story about Isab It’s a strange thing; people are often afraid of everyone that is not exactly as themselves. They are afraid of people with a different skin colour, a different culture, a different language and so on. The list is long. Too long. So when you are born with telepathic or telekinetic abilities, you either end up in a circus or an institution. At least, that is what used to happen. Nowadays, people with such abilities are not hunted down anymore. That is, except in this well-written story about Isabel Reis, a police woman with telepathic abilities. Nothing to be happy with, in her society. She is one of many, and there seem to be as many people with telekinetic abilities too. They call them Gifted but the general public sees them not as ‘Gifted’ but as ‘dangerous freaks’. Every child that shows some ability has to be tested and is forced to live under constant surveillance. Isabel is a five on a scale that ranges from one to ten. And is she happy? Mostly not. Her mother hates her for her ability, her father died too soon, her sister is not very good in making contact. Only her brother really loves her and looks out for her. And as for the fact that she is working for the police? She has to be very careful and always, always be on edge because she is not allowed to use her powers. On the contrary, she is even taking pills to suppress them. So when one day a man dies, and it looks like he is murdered by someone with telekinetic abilities, Isabel is sent our to solve this gruesome murder, partnered with Alex Vosonov, who is a ‘regular’. The story is original and well-written although it is not so that I couldn’t stop reading. There is a lot of politics going on and this slows down the story in certain parts. The most interesting parts of the story are those where Isabel tries to come to terms with herself and her ability. She has to battle against the killer, her partner, some of her colleagues, the general public but most of all with herself Not so easy, to say the least. Luckily Isabel is clever, determined and fierce, and not even afraid to admit she is not perfect (but who is). I liked the fact that this story is set against a city I’ve never been, where people speak a language I hardly know, except for the usual words for ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’. Isabel greets people in her own language instead that it was translated to English. And there are more words, especially for the food! I had to look it up and so I’ve learned about some new dishes. And how to cook special teas 😉. Many thanks to Netgalley for this digital review copy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Menezes

    Mystery with a touch of fantasy elements is something unique and not something that I read often. So while it did take me some time to actually get into the plot, once I figured out what was going on, it was quite enjoyable, The writing and all the descriptions were excellent, which is in fact the main highlight of the book. There’s a hint at a sequel which will be interesting to look forward too! Thank You NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for this ARC!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    I loved this. Speculative crime fiction with some superb writing and an eclectic, engaging group dynamic of characters who you invest in very early on. In a world where a portion of the population are gifted, monitored and often facing prejudice, one detective who is gifted herself, gets embroiled in some odd and violent murders.. This plot is so addictive and the world building has you believing every word. As an allegory it also works beautifully allowing exploration of social issues within a vi I loved this. Speculative crime fiction with some superb writing and an eclectic, engaging group dynamic of characters who you invest in very early on. In a world where a portion of the population are gifted, monitored and often facing prejudice, one detective who is gifted herself, gets embroiled in some odd and violent murders.. This plot is so addictive and the world building has you believing every word. As an allegory it also works beautifully allowing exploration of social issues within a vibrant and ever shifting perspective. The Colours of Death is also wildly entertaining and a right old page turner. I didn't want it to end and I'm hoping for plenty more to come. Highly Recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    The Colours of Death is the first instalment in a proposed new series set in an alternative present-day Lisbon, Portugal, and an original and skilful amalgam of the science fiction and crime thriller genres. It features a world where a small percentage of the population has been diagnosed as Gifted - having telepathic or telekinetic powers. Along with the power comes a stigma, fear and suspicion that Gifted Inspector Isabel Reis knows only too well, as those not bestowed the talent, known as reg The Colours of Death is the first instalment in a proposed new series set in an alternative present-day Lisbon, Portugal, and an original and skilful amalgam of the science fiction and crime thriller genres. It features a world where a small percentage of the population has been diagnosed as Gifted - having telepathic or telekinetic powers. Along with the power comes a stigma, fear and suspicion that Gifted Inspector Isabel Reis knows only too well, as those not bestowed the talent, known as regulars, tend to resent and terrorise the Gifted with Portugal’s right-wing political party PNP instigating the ill-feeling using their anti-Gifted agenda, spearheaded by the party leader, Bento Soares, which has taken a strong hold with the Portuguese people. Isabel is employed by the Police Judiciaria in Lisbon where she is partnered by a regular, Inspector Aleksandr Voronov, who will ensure she adheres to the stringent rules and regulations imposed on the gifted within the police force. When the pair are called to investigate a mysterious and violent death in a railway carriage at the Gare do Oriente, they find the victim, Mr Gil dos Santos, had suddenly risen and begun repeatedly smashing his head against the window on a packed train causing hysteria from other passengers. It had apparently been reported as a crime hinting at Gifted involvement and may have been caused by omnipotent telekinesis. The release of his name sparks further unrest when the news spreads that the murder victim was one of the heads of the National Institute of Testing, an organisation that oversees every inch of the lives of the Gifted minorities. They keep a registry of those who are Gifted as well as details of their powers and maintain oversight of those on the list. But there have also been unsubstantiated yet unrelenting rumours of oppression against the Gifted in society including carrying out clandestine experiments on them and strange disappearances. Reis knows it's more than just her personal reputation on the line. In a society where Gifted individuals are already viewed with mistrust, Isabel is hiding her own secret and knows she has to tread carefully as a conspiracy emerges and the body count rises. This is a compulsive and captivating debut novel with a beautifully woven plot, superb writing and a rich atmosphere, all of which held me captive from the outset. It's thoroughly original and has a glittering freshness to it, all the while introducing us to a cast of characters who will likely return in book two. Wonderfully inventive, it has the pace of a thriller, the feel of a procedural and a unique, speculative twist on our world that completely sets it apart. Reis is a complex, intriguing and three-dimensional protagonist and her backstory really allows you to get to know her and her motivations, her family and her upbringing. The intense pressure the Gifted ones feel when it comes to trying to keep their gift under wraps and maintain control is felt throughout the pages; it is certainly made to feel like a type of discrimination. It's a scintillating and utterly entertaining supernatural-tinged crime thriller, and it'll be interesting to see what direction Marques takes it in for the second instalment. Highly recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nadine Matheson

    This is crime fiction with a twist. Dectective Inspector Reis is in pursuit of a killer. Nothing new there but the murders take place in an alternative Lisbon, Portugal where the population is split into gifted or non-gifted and Inspector Reis is registered as gifted due to her being a telepath. Without revealing any spoilers, this was a gripping and highly invented thrill ride. I can't wait for more. This is crime fiction with a twist. Dectective Inspector Reis is in pursuit of a killer. Nothing new there but the murders take place in an alternative Lisbon, Portugal where the population is split into gifted or non-gifted and Inspector Reis is registered as gifted due to her being a telepath. Without revealing any spoilers, this was a gripping and highly invented thrill ride. I can't wait for more.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan Hampson

    The story is set in present-day Lisbon, but not as we know it. There is a small part of the population that are gifted, slotting into either being telepathic or telekinetic, neither is good news. Gifts are something that can develop at different times in life, so some try to hide them. If they are gifted, they have to be tested by law, to measure how developed their gifts are. The very gifted never come home. It is more of a curse than a gift, as families turn their backs on them. The gifted peop The story is set in present-day Lisbon, but not as we know it. There is a small part of the population that are gifted, slotting into either being telepathic or telekinetic, neither is good news. Gifts are something that can develop at different times in life, so some try to hide them. If they are gifted, they have to be tested by law, to measure how developed their gifts are. The very gifted never come home. It is more of a curse than a gift, as families turn their backs on them. The gifted people that remain in society have to make their gift be known, as it is illegal to invade minds, without consent. Inspector Isabel Reis is gifted while her partner Aleksandr Voronov is not. They have been asked to investigate the brutal death of a man travelling on a train. Witnesses’ tell them of a man that seemed to be brutally smashed into a train window over and over, but no one had touched him. Had he done this himself? or were other forces involved? It isn’t long before Isabel’s gift is being used, to look into the minds of witnesses, to see if they have seen anything that they are not recalling themselves. It is a sort of meld, which is at times frustrating, as she can only see the things in their vision, she can not turn them round to see things from another angle. Some of the witnesses are more cooperative than others, but none of them is happy about it. I liked Isabel as she not only had her gift but that gut feeling of how she feels about people too. I liked how the story built and became a race against time as more people were brutally killed, with an unseen force. Isabel has an internal battle brewing but feels that she can not trust anyone to talk to about it. It is a strange world of prejudice, secrets, shame and betrayal. A brilliant believable storyline. Different but not far from reality either. I wish to thank Net Galley and the Publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy of The Colours of Death, a thriller set in Lisbon in the present day, featuring Detective Inspector Isabel Reis. A man dies on a train by repeatedly hurling himself against the glass and while the witnesses know what they saw they’re not entirely sure that it was voluntary. Gifted detective Isabel Reis is asked to investigate. Gifted, however, has a particular meaning in this world, the Gifted have special powers are are c I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy of The Colours of Death, a thriller set in Lisbon in the present day, featuring Detective Inspector Isabel Reis. A man dies on a train by repeatedly hurling himself against the glass and while the witnesses know what they saw they’re not entirely sure that it was voluntary. Gifted detective Isabel Reis is asked to investigate. Gifted, however, has a particular meaning in this world, the Gifted have special powers are are closely monitored. I was invited to read The Colours of Death and I hummed and hawed about it before taking the plunge, because superpowers and the inexplicable are not really my thing. I’m glad I did as it is a great read that held my attention from start to finish. It doesn’t take long to get into Isabel’s world and once settled into this new normal the reader can enjoy a twisted investigation with strong characters. It is told from Isabel’s point of view so the reader can identify with her and her struggles with her Gift, while living a mystifying investigation. No, I’m not equally gifted and had no idea of where the novel was taking me or who the perpetrator was or, up until the reveal, why. I found it totally absorbing and it was as fast as I could get back to it when I had to put it down. I liked the way the author built her story, bit by bit, and the imaginative use of the Gifts to bring it to a resolution. I also liked the writing which is clear, concise and lively. So, the novel has a good, absorbing plot but it’s not just about plot. It’s about discrimination and the effect it has on individuals’ every day life. Isabel is ashamed of being Gifted and tries to hide it, but this isn’t easy when she has to declare it at every turn and get tested regularly. It also isn’t easy when public opinion is whipped up against them. It’s the constant onslaught of small indignities that is so powerful. It is a stroke of genius to make the discriminated something outside our collective lived experience as it avoids unconscious prejudice and allows the reader to see it clearly. The Colours of Death is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rowena Hoseason

    In this unusual combination of a police procedural and alternate reality, the action is set in a contemporary Portugal – in a society not unlike ours, but one where a small proportion of the population are ‘Gifted’, either with telepathy or telekinesis. Inspector Isabel Reis is one such telepath, shunned by her own family and struggling to understand the changes going on with her Gift. She’s been self-medicating with unlicensed drugs to keep her rapidly evolving abilities under wraps. She’s a di In this unusual combination of a police procedural and alternate reality, the action is set in a contemporary Portugal – in a society not unlike ours, but one where a small proportion of the population are ‘Gifted’, either with telepathy or telekinesis. Inspector Isabel Reis is one such telepath, shunned by her own family and struggling to understand the changes going on with her Gift. She’s been self-medicating with unlicensed drugs to keep her rapidly evolving abilities under wraps. She’s a diligent and effective police officer who should be able to use her Gift to enhance her investigative aptitude… but frequently it does more harm than good at the moment. While this is an interesting concept, it’s far from original (see the opening paragraph…) and the author’s writing wasn’t sharp enough to give a real edge to proceedings. Nor did her version of Lisbon feel particularly authentic or exotic; it felt lightly-sketched as if penned after a weekend’s city break rather than imbued with lifelong experience of the society. Equally, Isabel Reis isn’t an easy protagonist to latch on to. Much of the book is devoted to her insecurity and emotional instability, and there are a fair few irrelevant detours which slow the pace and do little to enhance the character. The whole ‘societal prejudice against a minority’ felt a lot like jumping on the latest ‘lives matter’ bandwagon – with the Gifts being used as a very thin metaphor for race, sexuality or gender discrimination. The most interesting aspects of the larger story are left dangling at the end, no doubt to entice us to pick up the next book which will inevitably roll along next year, but I doubt it’ll tempt me. An unexceptional police procedural, mildly spiced by the psychic side of things. 7/10 There's more detail about this book and many other crime novels over at http://www.murdermayhemandmore.net

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rae

    Isabel Reis is an Inspector for the Lisbon Police Force but she’s not just your average Inspector. She’s what they class as Gifted. A Gifted individual falls into one of two categories; Telepathic or Telekinetic so when she’s called to a case which may have some Gifted involvement, she knows that there’s a lot more at stake than just her reputation. First of all, I just have to say how great it was to read a book that was set in a country other than the United Kingdom or the United States. It was Isabel Reis is an Inspector for the Lisbon Police Force but she’s not just your average Inspector. She’s what they class as Gifted. A Gifted individual falls into one of two categories; Telepathic or Telekinetic so when she’s called to a case which may have some Gifted involvement, she knows that there’s a lot more at stake than just her reputation. First of all, I just have to say how great it was to read a book that was set in a country other than the United Kingdom or the United States. It was truly a breath of fresh air and although I had to translate a few words along the way, that didn’t matter to me. In fact, I loved it even more because it was something new and I liked discovering what the words translated to. One thing I’ll say about this book is that it was highly descriptive. Probably one of the most descriptive books I’ve read so far. Things such as the scents in an environment or the way a chair felt to the feeling of being in the rain was described so well. It really made you feel immersed in the story. The overall storyline was unique. I liked the fact that aside from the Gifted, everything else was ‘normal’. By that I mean, it didn’t overuse the Gifted element of the story. Yes, it was a crucial part of the book but it wasn’t dramatic. It was written super well to the point where although it’s classed in the Fantasy genre, it didn’t feel overly fantastical to the point where it was ridiculous. It was just the right amount. Aside from a few grammatical errors and paragraphing issues (which, all things considered, wasn’t a major surprise as it’s an ARC), I enjoyed this book a lot. The ONLY reason why I’m giving it 4 stars and not 5 is because of the ending but that is a very subjective reason and I definitely wouldn’t let that deter anyone from giving this book a read. *Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.*

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elli (Kindig Blog)

    The Colours of Death is a book that’s just a joy to read. Having read a lot of books for NetGalley, there are some that I enjoy but mentally note things to write about whilst reading and then there are those that I just lose myself in. This does however mean I really struggle to write reviews about them other than just typing ‘read this book!’ over and over again! The Colours of Death is set in an alternate timeline of Lisbon, where some people are able to perform either telekinesis or telepathy The Colours of Death is a book that’s just a joy to read. Having read a lot of books for NetGalley, there are some that I enjoy but mentally note things to write about whilst reading and then there are those that I just lose myself in. This does however mean I really struggle to write reviews about them other than just typing ‘read this book!’ over and over again! The Colours of Death is set in an alternate timeline of Lisbon, where some people are able to perform either telekinesis or telepathy and as such are classified as ‘Gifted’. Our main character Isabel is a Gifted police officer. I liked the fact that these skill sets are actually discriminated against within society and Isabel has to be careful how she lets her talents manifest. It’s frustrating that telepathy would make solving crimes a lot easier but she has to get permission to use her powers on suspects and witnesses. As a migraine sufferer I also really appreciated the realistic descriptions of her constant headaches which come with her Gift. I really empathised with Isabel and she is a likeable and strong main character. The crime itself was gory and there are enough characters to misdirect the reader with some red herrings. The book was also really well paced, with some flashbacks to Isabels past and descriptions of the world intermingled with the crimes which ramp up as the book goes along. There’s also some interesting revelations made as the story progresses which hint at a sequel (which I would be very excited to read). However, this book does work well as a standalone read which is appreciated as in reading the ARC I acknowledge that a sequel might be a fair amount of time coming! Overall, The Colours of Death is an intriguing thriller with a sci-fi edge and I hope there’s a sequel coming soon – for now though, read this book! Thank you to NetGalley & Hodder and Stoughton for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review. For more of my reviews check out www.kindig.co.uk

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elite Group

    A thriller set in present-day Lisbon . . . but with a twist! ‘The Colours of Death’ is set in present-day Lisbon with a slightly dystopian twist! The reason is because the general population felt rather wary or even prejudiced if a person was labelled “Gifted” . . . because they are either telepathic or telekinetic. We are introduced to Inspector Isabel Reis who is called in with her new work partner Aleks Voronov to investigate a rather bizarre death at one of the stations on the Lisbon metro. T A thriller set in present-day Lisbon . . . but with a twist! ‘The Colours of Death’ is set in present-day Lisbon with a slightly dystopian twist! The reason is because the general population felt rather wary or even prejudiced if a person was labelled “Gifted” . . . because they are either telepathic or telekinetic. We are introduced to Inspector Isabel Reis who is called in with her new work partner Aleks Voronov to investigate a rather bizarre death at one of the stations on the Lisbon metro. The deceased was classed as Gifted and incidentally so is Isabel. The immediate question is . . . has the deceased committed suicide or had there actually been a murder? Well, it didn’t take long for Isabel to get a whiff of murder, plus an extremely dangerous and powerful person is at large. Again, why murder a Gifted person? Is the perpetrator also Gifted? I enjoyed the human side of this investigation, particularly finding out about Isabel’s background and family dynamics. Another plus was how Isabel and Aleks began to trust each other after a rather frosty beginning. I’ve been to Lisbon on three occasions, which enhanced ‘The Colours of Death’ for me, so that the vibrancy of the city certainly shone through. I gather that this is Patricia Marques’ debut novel. I really enjoyed the quirkiness of the concept and I look forward to possibly a sequel? Galadriel. Elite Reviewing Group received a copy of this book to review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    3.5 stars rounded up to 4 In an alternative present-day Lisbon, a small percentage of the population have been diagnosed as Gifted - having telepathic or telekinetic powers. Along with the power comes stigma and suspicion that Gifted Inspector Isabel Reis knows only too well. When Isabel is called in to investigate a mysterious and violent death which hints at Gifted involvement, she knows it's more than her personal reputation on the line. Isabel is hiding her own secret and knows she has to tre 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 In an alternative present-day Lisbon, a small percentage of the population have been diagnosed as Gifted - having telepathic or telekinetic powers. Along with the power comes stigma and suspicion that Gifted Inspector Isabel Reis knows only too well. When Isabel is called in to investigate a mysterious and violent death which hints at Gifted involvement, she knows it's more than her personal reputation on the line. Isabel is hiding her own secret and knows she has to tread carefully as a conspiracy emerges and the body count rises. Isabel Reis is Gifted with telepathic powers. She's working alongside a new partner, Aleksanor Voronov who she is wary of. Then news comes in that there has been a murder on a train, with suspected Gifted involvement. This is a fast paced thriller with some really good twists, It's told in the third person and set in the present day. I liked the authors writing style and descriptions of the storyline. It's an action packed whodunit. I did feel the ending let the book down but overall, it's a really good and unique read. I would like to thank #NetGalley #HodderStoughton and the author #PatriciaMarques for my ARC of #TheColoursOfDeath in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Noemi Proietti

    Set in an alternate world divided between Regulars and Gifted, The Colours of Death is a fantastic mix of thriller and fantasy that kept me completely captivated from the first to the last page. Gifted have the power of either telekinesis or telepathy, but they are not very trusted by the Regulars and are registered and constantly monitored. The protagonist of the novel is Inspector Isabel Reis of the Polìcia Judiària of Lisbon. Isabel is a Gifted and she can read other people’s thoughts and see Set in an alternate world divided between Regulars and Gifted, The Colours of Death is a fantastic mix of thriller and fantasy that kept me completely captivated from the first to the last page. Gifted have the power of either telekinesis or telepathy, but they are not very trusted by the Regulars and are registered and constantly monitored. The protagonist of the novel is Inspector Isabel Reis of the Polìcia Judiària of Lisbon. Isabel is a Gifted and she can read other people’s thoughts and see their memories. Following a tragic accident caused by a Gifted who lost control of their power, there are now more restrictions against the Gifted, so Isabel is partnered up with Inspector Aleks Voronov, a Regular. Their first case together is the death of a man who apparently threw himself against the glass of a train window. Did he really kill himself or did someone throw him against the window? I really liked the character of Isabel. She struggles with her power, wishing to silence the voices in her head, although it is often useful in her job, and she has a complex relationship with her family which becomes a secondary plot of the story, but what I enjoyed most is her relationship with Voronov. They have an easy relationship from the beginning and they work well together, and, despite Isabel’s initial reluctance, they learn to trust each other. The story is twisty and addictive and I loved everything of this novel, from the beautiful and evocative descriptions of Lisbon to the large amount of food that Isabel gulps down, from the suspenseful mystery to the well-developed characters. I really hope that The Colours of Death is the first book in a series as I’d love to read more about these characters… and by this author.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Darina

    Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. It took me some time to get into the story but when I did there was no stopping me. I liked the concept, and the execution of the story. It was very descriptive which helped me immerse myself in this story and "feel" what our main character was feeling, but it sometimes felt like too much description. I expected that ending for Isabel, didn't quite figure out who the mu Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. It took me some time to get into the story but when I did there was no stopping me. I liked the concept, and the execution of the story. It was very descriptive which helped me immerse myself in this story and "feel" what our main character was feeling, but it sometimes felt like too much description. I expected that ending for Isabel, didn't quite figure out who the murderer was quickly and that was a great challenge trying to guess it at the start. It looks like there might be another book because of the way it ended and I'm impatient if that's the case, I want to know more about Isabal and Voronov.

  18. 5 out of 5

    RG

    Amazing!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    jean

    I couldn't get into this book at all, and read the start a couple of times regarding the "gifted" and people building "wards" in their head to help their mental health and still felt quite confused. I think the fault is mine as from the synopsis I hadn't really appreciated the sci-fi /fantasy element and was anticipating more a police thriller set in Lisbon. I'm sorry I was unable to finish the book, but I'm sure the author will make many fans as a result of their writing Thank you to netgalley a I couldn't get into this book at all, and read the start a couple of times regarding the "gifted" and people building "wards" in their head to help their mental health and still felt quite confused. I think the fault is mine as from the synopsis I hadn't really appreciated the sci-fi /fantasy element and was anticipating more a police thriller set in Lisbon. I'm sorry I was unable to finish the book, but I'm sure the author will make many fans as a result of their writing Thank you to netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for an advance copy of this book

  20. 5 out of 5

    BookBloggerJanine

    The Colours of Death by Patricia Marques I give this book 3.75 stars A violent and mysterious crime. Suspected Gifted involvement. A city baying for blood. And a killer who has only just begun . . . This alternative detective mystery is narrated in 3rd person set in present day, and is located in Lisbon. Inspector Isabel Reid and her new Russian partner Voronov need to find and stop an ingenious killer..This book has a very interesting concept and was a descriptive and enjoyable read. With thanks The Colours of Death by Patricia Marques I give this book 3.75 stars A violent and mysterious crime. Suspected Gifted involvement. A city baying for blood. And a killer who has only just begun . . . This alternative detective mystery is narrated in 3rd person set in present day, and is located in Lisbon. Inspector Isabel Reid and her new Russian partner Voronov need to find and stop an ingenious killer..This book has a very interesting concept and was a descriptive and enjoyable read. With thanks to Netgalley,the author and Hodder and Stoughton for my chance to read and review this book

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carole Tyrrell

    Lisbon’s morning rush hour is at its peak when a man is violently murdered in front of a packed train of horrified commuters. But no one saw the murderer, only their victim being thrown through a window before falling, bloodied and broken to the floor. Inspector Isabel Reis of the Police Judiciary is called to the Gare de Orient to survey the scene after shocked and terrified commuters, and potential witnesses, have fled. It’s already being seen as a possible Gifted homicide and she can already s Lisbon’s morning rush hour is at its peak when a man is violently murdered in front of a packed train of horrified commuters. But no one saw the murderer, only their victim being thrown through a window before falling, bloodied and broken to the floor. Inspector Isabel Reis of the Police Judiciary is called to the Gare de Orient to survey the scene after shocked and terrified commuters, and potential witnesses, have fled. It’s already being seen as a possible Gifted homicide and she can already see evidence of it. Once again the Gifted in Portuguese society are being targeted as dangerous and murderous. Isabel is also Gifted and is required to have it stated on her PJ ID badge. They are regarded with suspicion, contempt and hatred. An abomination is one way in which they are described and from the age of 5, when her talent was first discovered, Isabel has known that they are reviled. Gifted people are either telepaths or telekinetic and Isabel is one of the former. She also has a new partner, Inspector Aleksandr Voronov, who gave evidence against his former Gifted partner. This makes her uneasy with him. All Gifted people in the PJ are required to have a Regular, or non gifted, partner. This is an alternative Lisbon where the Gifted live uneasily with the Regulars. They are seen as people who can invade your mind and your privacy without you knowing and a right wing political party, the PNP, makes great play on this. The Gifted community are the elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. The murder victim is identified as Gil dos Santos, the head of Portugal’s National Testing Institute, where all Gifted people are identified and classified. It’s where Isabel went to be tested when her talent was first beginning to manifest itself. As the investigation gets underway, they begin by speaking to his second in command at the HTI, Celia Armindas and go through his Cloud files. He was scheduled to visit a comatose hospital patient who was once a Gifted Guide but why? Gil was also undertaking research on trial drugs for the Gifted and there is a suggestion that the Government were interested in weaponising the Gifted. But Isabel’s finding it hard. She’s been taking powerful pills to suppress her telepathic talent but lately they haven’t been working as well. As a result, she increases her dosage to up to 4 a day which gives her constant headaches. When another high profile murder takes place by an invisible assailant, Isabel and Aleks are under pressure to find the murderer fast. Isabel begins to meet other Gifted people who are living under the wire and who become part of the investigation. Do they know more than they are admitting? It isn’t long before she realises that the murderer may be one of the most deadly and powerful Gifted people ever known and that they’ve turned their attention to her – will she be next? This is a very confident, original debut novel and I really enjoyed reading it. The author created a completely believable and disturbing alternative reality. Isabel was a powerful character who lived with her special talent as best she could and was becoming uncomfortably aware that the pills were no longer keeping it under control. In fact, she may be more Gifted than she can imagine. The author described the plight of the Gifted people so well as they are controlled more and more. I also felt that this was a bold novel with its combination of genres and demonstrates how the crime and thriller genre can encompass many strands and ideas. The Colours of Death was fast paced and had a very serpentine plot but it never lost sight of the person at its heart, Isabel, and her conflicted self. The descriptions of Lisbon made me feel that I was actually walking its streets with Isabel and Aleks in the winter city as they search for a murderer. This is one of the best debut novels that I’ve read this year and Patricia Marques is a writer to watch. I’m already looking forward to reading more about Inspector Isabel Reis. An edited version of this review appeared on www.blogspot.com/2021/06/the-colours-...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pile By the Bed

    Patricia Marques’ debut The Colours of Death is a successful genre mash. Marques has taken a down-the-line crime procedural, mixed it with a well imagined alternative world in which some people are ‘gifted’ with specific powers and set it all in the very real streets of Lisbon. All anchored by a strong, flawed and despite her differences, relatable, female lead. The world of The Colours of Death is one in which some of the population are known a “gifted”. Gifted individuals have one of two capabi Patricia Marques’ debut The Colours of Death is a successful genre mash. Marques has taken a down-the-line crime procedural, mixed it with a well imagined alternative world in which some people are ‘gifted’ with specific powers and set it all in the very real streets of Lisbon. All anchored by a strong, flawed and despite her differences, relatable, female lead. The world of The Colours of Death is one in which some of the population are known a “gifted”. Gifted individuals have one of two capabilities – either telepathy (the ability to hear thoughts and read minds) or telekinesis (the ability to move objects without touching them). Not all people have the same level of gift, and the Gifted a rated on a scale from one to ten. Anyone with a rating over seven must be monitored and those with the highest rating are considered dangerous and are often disappeared by the Government. Unsurprisingly there is plenty of fear and discrimination in the general population around the Gifted and their powers including a growing political force led by a populist politician that wants to see all Gifted people more tightly controlled. Pulled away from the case of an unidentified dead woman, Gifted (telepathy) detective Isabel Reis is called to a high profile death on a commuter train. The victim is one of the two lead researchers at the main Portuguese institute for testing and rating of the gifted and seems to have been killed by someone with powerful telekinetic powers. Isabel, who can read people’s memories when she touches them is using a slightly illegal drug to keep her gift under control but the side effects of the drug are constant, blinding headaches. As part of the case she is landed with a new partner, Voronov, a non-gifted detective who comes with his own challenges for her as he is known for having testified against her former (gifted) partner. Isabel has to try and solve the case as tension and suspicion ratchets up within the team, political tension mounts on the police force and another victim is found. At the same time, Isabel is having to deal with her own drug dependency and a difficult family situation. Within all of the well-handled world building, Marques has delivered a solid, engaging police procedural. Isabel and her team are competent investigators stymied by a complex case, lies and obfuscation. Isabel’s gift is of limited use as she requires consent to use it, although it comes more into its own towards the climax. And, as with all good crime fiction, the narrative brings the city of Lisbon, not seen as often as other world capitals, its people, it’s landscapes and its food, to life. So long as genre snobs can hold any of their own prejudices back there is plenty to enjoy here for both crime and speculative fiction fans. But really, this will be a great read for anyone with a working imagination. The Colours of Murder is a great crime debut in an intriguing world and the perfect set up for an ongoing series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jess Munnery

    I haven't delved in to a thriller in some time and this book has just served to remind me why I really, really enjoy the occasions I do pick one up. Not to mentioned this mystery is edged with fantasy elements, such a wonderful blend of my favourite genre in here. The fantastical element is a real stroke of genius worldbuilding, I'd liken it to the X-Men with fewer variations of types of mutants but all the same prejudices and attempts to even the playing field. It's always an interesting concep I haven't delved in to a thriller in some time and this book has just served to remind me why I really, really enjoy the occasions I do pick one up. Not to mentioned this mystery is edged with fantasy elements, such a wonderful blend of my favourite genre in here. The fantastical element is a real stroke of genius worldbuilding, I'd liken it to the X-Men with fewer variations of types of mutants but all the same prejudices and attempts to even the playing field. It's always an interesting concept to explore what happens to those that develop in to more than just human and how those of us previously at the top of the food chain will react to that position being threatened. It creates a tensely loaded environment which is perfect for a thriller/mystery set in modern day Lisbon. Adding in our main character as a detective, what more could you ask for? Taking me back to my CSI watching days we follow Isabel as she delves in to a more complex job than she's ever had before with added complications of her own life. As a Gifted investigator she's paired with a new Regular partner, to keep her in check or cause her more trouble? All part of the fun and a relationship I very much enjoyed seeing develop. There isn't an awful lot to say about many of the characters, they all strike me as what you'd expect and I enjoy there's not an attempt to overcomplicate or move away from the real story by having too many twists and turns. It looks as though this is Marques' debut and even with an arc version I really enjoyed the writing, a good balance of description and story progression. As I usually note, if I don't notice it then it's working well. There weren't any actions that didn't end up with a point and other actions were that of making us understand a character's habits as we should in a detective story where we need to see the finer details. I really thought at one point I had the whodunnit nailed but nope! Relatively close but not the full picture, another win for Marques. Another point I noted, very little or no romance. I have predominantly read YA over the last few years and it practically always involves some romance. This was refreshingly free but gave us some interesting little spats and teasers with old and new relationships. Don't expect anything. I really, really enjoyed this book. My only complaint is a sharp ending that didn't allow me tie some loose ends I'd like to have seen. One very pointedly not revealed and some others just left in the past. I wanted that satisfaction though!

  24. 4 out of 5

    John Derek

    Colours of Death my review Set in an alternate Lisbon, it made this a pleasant change from the standard, and the author painted a pretty picture of the area. There are two types of people involved in the story. You have the majority of the people who go about their daily business, and then you have the gifted few. Those with the power of telepathy or telekinesis, who are but few, are not particularly liked. They are not trusted in society and are looked at with suspicion. It’s no secret that the g Colours of Death my review Set in an alternate Lisbon, it made this a pleasant change from the standard, and the author painted a pretty picture of the area. There are two types of people involved in the story. You have the majority of the people who go about their daily business, and then you have the gifted few. Those with the power of telepathy or telekinesis, who are but few, are not particularly liked. They are not trusted in society and are looked at with suspicion. It’s no secret that the government wants to be rid of these gifted individuals, and this reminded me of a few other books and franchises. Most notably, X-Men, where the Mutants are shamed and mocked for being out of the ordinary. And accordingly are classed as a danger to society and must be eradicated. The author grabs your attention immediately with the gruesome death on the train. The drama continues to increase as the story develops. This is no doubt helped by the strong-willed leading character, Inspector Isabel Reis. She is a resourceful and engaging character who, being gifted herself, has her own set of problems to deal with, besides being teamed with a new partner and a murder case that defies all logic and reason. The Colours of Death is a scintillating novel. A full-steam ahead, no-nonsense thriller. Brilliantly executed and emotionally charged, there's a powerful message in the novel about tolerance, and it is something that's fresh in everyone's mind at present. It's something that makes the book thought-provoking as well as thrilling. As a sufferer of migraines and cluster headaches, I really truly deeply, had sympathy and empathy for Isabel. And I was wondering if the author suffers with headaches of some description and that is why she fed them into the story. If the depiction of Lisbon is correct, and I have no reason to believe it shouldn't be, then I found it fascinating to be transported to a more awe-inspiring setting than the norm. It's a novel that never fails to enthral the reader. The characters are a rich assortment of convincing individuals. Please, don't be put off if you think you've seen this plot before. It may ring a bell in some subtle ways, but it's its own stand-out thriller of a book. It would be unfair to give too much away about The Colours Of Death and be wrong. I really like this book, and there will be more to come from this author. And for me personally, I can't wait. Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the digital review copy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    maceys_reads

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Thank you to Net Galley, Hodder & Stoughton and Patricia Marques who very kindly provided me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Crime thrillers aren’t my go to genre of book but if they were all like The Colours of Death they certainly would be! The sci-fi / paranormal aspects of this book drew me in and made the book really interesting, I was engaged the entire way though and couldn’t put the book down! I will definitely be buying a physical copy of this book when it is re ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Thank you to Net Galley, Hodder & Stoughton and Patricia Marques who very kindly provided me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Crime thrillers aren’t my go to genre of book but if they were all like The Colours of Death they certainly would be! The sci-fi / paranormal aspects of this book drew me in and made the book really interesting, I was engaged the entire way though and couldn’t put the book down! I will definitely be buying a physical copy of this book when it is released not only just for the story but for the stunning cover! The plot is paced really well, things don’t feel rushed at all but it is also not boring, it is a real mystery as well which I really enjoyed. The constant twists and turns in the story really keep you guessing right until the end and I had no idea who the killer was until is was revealed which was fantastic. I loved all of the characters and thought that they interacted really well with each other, I like how the author didn’t try to push a romantic relationship between the main character and her partner as that is quite common in these types of books. I loved Isabel as a character and her development throughout the book, I like how we see her to try and be more accepting of her gift and learn to love herself and not be scared of who she is. I think that this is a very important message to imbed in a book! The actual concept of the book is amazing, it is really original in my opinion. Personally I have never read or heard of anything quite like it and I simply loved it, I thought it was interesting and has so many routes for future development. The only reason that this is not a 5⭐️ read for me is because in some places I did find the style of writing a little confusing but this could have just been my interpretation of it. I definitely recommend this book even if crime thrillers aren’t your go to genre, just give this book a go. I guarantee that you will love it, it is impossible not to be drawn into this amazing mystery that you will not want to put down! I am so excited that the ending set up a second book perfectly and I can’t wait to see what Patricia will bring us next!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Annette Jordan

    The Colours of Death by Patricia Marques is a clever futuristic thriller set in a world where a percentage of the population are "Gifted" with powers of telepathy or telekinesis. Along with these powers come suspicion and stigma as the rest of the population fear what they cannot understand. When a mam dies in strange circumstances on a crowded train in Lisbon, the case falls to Gifted detective Isabel Reis and her new partner. Isabel has powers of telepathy, and would prefer to work alone, but The Colours of Death by Patricia Marques is a clever futuristic thriller set in a world where a percentage of the population are "Gifted" with powers of telepathy or telekinesis. Along with these powers come suspicion and stigma as the rest of the population fear what they cannot understand. When a mam dies in strange circumstances on a crowded train in Lisbon, the case falls to Gifted detective Isabel Reis and her new partner. Isabel has powers of telepathy, and would prefer to work alone, but protocol dictates that all Gifted detectives must have a non gifted partner , to ensure that they follow the strict protocols laid down in law. When it emerges that the dead man was involved in testing Gifted people, and had ties to a powerful politician with less than kind views about the Gifted. Isabel is more invested than ever in solving the case, but can she do it without allowing her own powers to get out of control? I really enjoyed this unusual spin on a thriller, and thought the author posed some interesting ethical questions about authority and autonomy while telling a good story. The pacing was good, with a dramatic opening and then a steady pace with several twists and turns before the dramatic conclusion. I was surprised to learn that this was a debut, the writing is assured and the story polished. The character of Isabel was really well developed and I appreciated getting to know so much of her back story and family history with all its complications. I would love to read more books featuring her investigations , there is definitely potential for this to develop into a series. I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nia Ireland

    I really enjoyed this book and wish that I’d slowed down my reading of it long enough to write notes but that ship has now sailed! It’s exceptionally well written and (clearly!) held my rapt attention, the pace is slower than I normally enjoy and developments are revealed at a very steady pace, but the character building is so well done I was happy to take my time over it. Isabel, the main character, is a very guarded person. She’s an Inspector with telepathic powers who is currently investigati I really enjoyed this book and wish that I’d slowed down my reading of it long enough to write notes but that ship has now sailed! It’s exceptionally well written and (clearly!) held my rapt attention, the pace is slower than I normally enjoy and developments are revealed at a very steady pace, but the character building is so well done I was happy to take my time over it. Isabel, the main character, is a very guarded person. She’s an Inspector with telepathic powers who is currently investigating a dead which may have some paranormal involvement. Alongside this, she’s dealing with her powers, prejudice against her for having powers and difficulties within her family. She’s slow to trust people so we only get what she gives us, which gradually increases as the story progresses. The headaches she suffers from gradually increase and I could empathise greatly - trying to get anything done with chronic headaches is a nightmare and I could almost feel what was being described. In this world, there are some people known as Gifted who have powers which are either Telekinetic or Telepathic and rank between 1-10 in terms of strength. Obviously, they’re regarded with mistrust, because… humanity. And there’s a very X-Men them-and-us stance in the world, with bigots and sympathisers in all corners. Only time will tell what kind of person her new partner is but I have high hopes! The case is solved at the end of the book, but loops back to another case from the beginning - leading me to hope that this is the beginning of a series because I’m eager to see what the future has in store for these characters!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Dooley

    A great concept, a solid read that didn’t quite reach the heights I had hoped. Set in Lisbon Portugal where a small percentage of the population are classed as gifted. They have the power of either telepathy or telekinesis and their powers are rated from 1 to 10. They are viewed with suspicion by many and in the strongest cases seem to disappear after being held by the authorities. This is a sci-fi/detective novel as our main protagonist, Inspector Isabel Reis is one of the gifted. She is called A great concept, a solid read that didn’t quite reach the heights I had hoped. Set in Lisbon Portugal where a small percentage of the population are classed as gifted. They have the power of either telepathy or telekinesis and their powers are rated from 1 to 10. They are viewed with suspicion by many and in the strongest cases seem to disappear after being held by the authorities. This is a sci-fi/detective novel as our main protagonist, Inspector Isabel Reis is one of the gifted. She is called at the start of the book to a suspicious death which on the face of it looks like suicide but when she digs a bit more, it looks more and more like it could be a murder committed by a gifted person. I enjoyed this one overall but was left feeling a little underwhelmed. Isabel is an interesting enough character and we get plenty of her back story here. The investigation starts off with great excitement but meanders along throughout book without any real excitement or tension. It feels like the story is simpler than it thinks it is and the book ends up being padded out a bit. The pacing is a little linear and the jumping out of the investigation to focus on Isabels private life does feel a little soap opera like and a little unnecessary. Some really good ideas here and a decent enough story. Probably would have been a much better read if it lost some of the page count. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Expharmastan

    Interesting ideas morph into a good murder mystery with added areas bordering modern dislike/prejudice/lack of open mindedness which, I think, we should all embrace (open mindedness). Each person is born what they are those genes and traits generally cannot be changed or modified, we do not choose what we are born, we make the best of it and, hopefully live happily: though in the modern technological age it is true that gene therapy can cure certain diseases. I digress. I enjoyed the vast majority Interesting ideas morph into a good murder mystery with added areas bordering modern dislike/prejudice/lack of open mindedness which, I think, we should all embrace (open mindedness). Each person is born what they are those genes and traits generally cannot be changed or modified, we do not choose what we are born, we make the best of it and, hopefully live happily: though in the modern technological age it is true that gene therapy can cure certain diseases. I digress. I enjoyed the vast majority of this book, I liked the ideas that were planted early and grew as the book progressed and developed. The rivalry between characters was well placed, the hatred between certain groups was clear and the reasoning behind that hatred/mistrust between those different groupings was interesting. Generally the story was well built, avenues opened and were explored but my disappointment came right at the end. The fate and path to be taken b the main character is totally withheld. No clues as to where it will go, can that character return? Is that character damaged beyond repair? Can the character be trusted? Even by herself? Generally the book was strong, the ideas interesting but the ending? I'm afraid I found it "damp". Perhaps it is just me and the fact that I like a more definitive end to a story even if there is to be a follow up. I don't like voids and I think this book's ending created one.

  30. 5 out of 5

    James

    This is an intriguing novel set in an alternate universe Lisbon where a small percentage of the population have psychic powers and are treated with mistrust by the rest. When a man inside a train carriage is lifted by invisible forces and slammed against the carriage walls until he’s dead, psychically gifted Inspector Isabel Reis is put on the case. This is a good and original sci-fi which touches on various issues, not least the prejudice minorities face. The gifted community are treated with s This is an intriguing novel set in an alternate universe Lisbon where a small percentage of the population have psychic powers and are treated with mistrust by the rest. When a man inside a train carriage is lifted by invisible forces and slammed against the carriage walls until he’s dead, psychically gifted Inspector Isabel Reis is put on the case. This is a good and original sci-fi which touches on various issues, not least the prejudice minorities face. The gifted community are treated with suspicion by most, and hatred by more than a few, especially after an event in the past where a powerfully gifted girl caused a disaster. In this way their treatment is reminiscent of how Muslims are treated today: a tiny minority commit atrocities and yet the majority suffer intolerance because of it. The victim is linked to the head of a powerful anti-gifted party and this too has strong similarities to the anti-immigrant nationalist parties we have today. There’s a slight oddity to the narrative in that we never learn the wider context - how the gifted came into existence (it’s a relatively new phenomenon) and whether they exist anywhere else in the world. Indeed, the wider world outside of Portugal is never mentioned. That said, this doesn’t spoil the story at all, it just leaves the reader with some unanswered questions. A great read this, and presumably there’ll be a sequel. If so there’s plenty of space for the author to flesh out the world she’s created.

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