GEORGE D. SHUMAN – 18 Seconds. Nominated for Best Private Eye First Novel of the Year, 2007.

Simon & Schuster, hardcover, March 2006. Pocket Star, paperback, March 2007.

   Book Description:

18 Seconds

Investigative consultant Sherry Moore is blind and stunningly beautiful, with the extraordinary ability to “see” the deceased’s last eighteen seconds of memory by touching the corpse. At age five, she was found near death on the steps of a city hospital. A head injury had left her without sight and prevented her from remembering her past. When Sherry discovers she does have sight — sight that transcends death — she learns to use her gift to help others solve mysteries that only she can tap into.

Serial killer Earl Sykes was never caught for his vicious murders. Instead, a deadly traffic accident landed him in prison. Now, almost thirty years later, he returns to the seaside town of Wildwood, New Jersey — and to abducting young female victims from desolate areas of the boardwalk for his gruesome games.

Wildwood police lieutenant Kelly O’Shaughnessy is stymied over the disappearance of young women from the boardwalk — crimes horrifyingly reminiscent of unsolved cases from the seventies. When an old man’s untimely death leads Sherry Moore to Wildwood, O’Shaughnessy’s desperation to stem the bloodshed forces her to accept Sherry’s help, but not without consequence. As the two women join forces to discover the killer’s identity, they unwittingly become the hunted, marching deeper with every step into the monster’s lair.

A law enforcement veteran himself, Shuman packs a realistic style and authentic investigative detail into this taut tale filled with pulse-pounding tension that will send readers right to the edge.

   About the Author:

George Shuman is a twenty-year veteran of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police force. This is his first novel.

   Review excerpts:

Publishers Weekly: “Beautiful, blind Sherry Moore is matter-of-fact when telling two police detectives about her agonizing gift – the ability to see the last 18 seconds of a dead person’s life. It’s not supernatural, in her telling; it’s science imperfectly understood. […] Narrative relief from a litany of horrific crimes comes when the scene shifts to Sherry’s tender relationship with a married police detective, and to police lieutenant Kelly Lynch-O’Shaughnessy’s marital struggles. While the large number of characters and cross-cutting of their perspectives leads to occasional confusion, the vividly drawn central figures and authoritative voice keep the reader grimly committed.”

Booklist: “Here’s a high-concept thriller that, in places, could almost sink under the weight of its own premise. Sherry Moore is beautiful, blind, and psychic. But she doesn’t read minds; Sherry’s gift — although some might say it’s more of a curse — is this: if she touches a dead person, she can see the last 18 seconds of that person’s life. […] Unfortunately, Shuman, a veteran police officer, spends so much time justifying his premise that he tends to sound like he doesn’t quite believe it himself. Sometimes you just have to let readers suspend their own disbelief.”