“Proof of Life” by Sheila Lowe is book two in the “Beyond the Veil” mystery series. Lowe gives readers a feel for the story right from the start with descriptions of the car accident. “Jessica Mack’s head hit the windshield, killing her instantly. Her spirit, detaching from her body, hovered above it for a short time before rising higher and higher above the cliff.” However, Jessica had not died, and after two weeks in a coma, woke up a very different person.
Jessica Mack lives Ventura, California, and has an identical twin sister. The story continues from her point of view. She became an artist, creating much sought after delicate miniatures. “Sculpting the tangle of roses and hollyhocks that climbed the trellis arch had taken days. The wren perched on the rim of a sundial, hours more. Crocus, lavender, and heliotrope, each tiny flower was a work of art.” The story continues in a casual style driven by conversations. She goes shopping, continues her art, and has lunch. All are ordinary activities for someone extraordinary, because she has a secret, a potentially troubling secret. She hears voices, voices of dead who have messages for the living
Readers follow along as Mack struggles with questioning her own stability, keeping her secret, and passing along messages to people who are not always grateful to hear them. She quietly assists FBI Special Agent Zach Smith in finding the body of a crime victim. The voices become more persistent, and her head is crowded with strange voices and visions. Then, she is asked a troubling question; “Can you ask if there’s some way to reach out to someone who’s alive?” Readers feel her pressure. Will she be able to decode the voice? Will she be able to intervene to save a life? The tension escalates page after page as the clock ticks.
“Proof of Life” explores the supernatural within the context of a compelling and heartwarming story. A familiar character makes an appearance when Claudia does Graphotherapy with the therapists once a month. I received a copy from Sheila Lowe, Suspense Publishing, and NetGalley. It is a captivating story without graphic violence and easy to read