Welcome to Strout's offbeat and dangerously weird world! Making a strong debut, Strout quickly throws his idealistic and gung-ho hero into the deep end to see if he can swim. Seeing the world through Simon's eyes is a funny, quirky and occasionally scary experience. Strout's world will be well worth revisiting.

Simon Canderous is blessed/cursed with the power of psychometry. Regrettably, this "gift" has played havoc with his love life. Having decided to leave his life of petty crime behind, Simon has gone to the good side and joined the New York Department of Extraordinary Affairs.

Still learning the ropes, Simon and his mentor Connor are dragged into a possibly apocalyptic case when a newly deceased young woman turns up at their office. Who is Irene, and why was she killed? Irene doesn't remember, but the case takes a really weird turn when a stolen fish appears to be at the epicenter of a nefarious plot. (ACE, Mar., 368 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith