‘Eyes to See’ is the first book in ‘The Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles’ by Joseph Nassise. It follows the story of Jeremiah Hunt, who lives in Boston, USA in the present day. Hunt was previously a Professor of Ancient Languages at Harvard University and, five years before the story begins, his young daughter, Elizabeth, is kidnapped. His all consuming obsessive search for her ruins his marriage to his wife Anne and his job and after a few years of fruitless searching he makes a dark deal to give up his normal sight and to see the world as it truly is.
Hunt can now see all the hidden creatures of the world who live among humans such as shapeshifters, vampires, goblins, angels, ghosts and other Gifted individuals. He mainly focuses on trying to find out if any ghosts have seen or know anything about his daughter. Jeremiah has painstakingly learned how to exorcise ghosts and with the help of his ghost friends, Whisper and Scream, he also helps solve murders for Detective Stanton, a homicide detective. Stanton is under the impression that Jeremiah is a psychic and uses his skills in exchange for any information the detective obtains of Elizabeth’s kidnapping which is now considered a cold case.
When Stanton’s most recent homicide case leaves him baffled, he brings in Hunt, but he can’t see who the killer is neither and can’t decipher the confusing mix of ancient languages the killer wrote at the crime scene. As more people are killed by the same serial killer, Hunt realises that this is no human murderer and whoever they are they know and have seen Elizabeth.
Hunt knows that he cannot find this dangerous killer alone and, after years of working alone and alienating himself from everyone, he gives in and asks two Gifted individuals for help. The Gifted generally look human but have extra abilities that humans don’t possess. Jeremiah himself, after making his deal, is now one of the Gifted as are his allies, Dmitri Alexandrov, a bar owner and ‘facilitator’ for dangerous people and Denise Clearwater, a hedge witch.
I did find a strange inconsistency in Jeremiah’s age and the information we are given as to when he became a professor. Jeremiah would have had to be made professor, gotten married and bought his house while he was still in his late teens. This isn’t really relevant to the plot though.
‘Eyes To See’ is basically a supernatural detective story but it is Jeremiah’s dogged determination and his disregard for his own welfare in searching for his daughter that makes the book so compelling. The lengths he goes to find her is extraordinary and makes you desperately wish for the best. Both Whisper and Scream, though they never speak, I found were far more interesting that Hunt’s Gifted allies and the best scenes were really of Hunt’s interactions with various ghosts. Very few other supernatural creatures were introduced in the book but I’m sure we can look forward to that in future books.
(pub: TOR/Forge, 2011. 318 page hardback. Price: $22.99 (US), $26.50 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7653-2718-5)