What happens when a pseudo psychic suddenly gets the real gift?
Marina Marks has been on the grift as a psychic since she was a child, forced into the business by a junkie mother who was always desperate for her next fix—and willing to use her solemn dark-haired daughter to peddle an extra buck. As an adult, Marina has earned a handsome living preying on the dreams and fears of her clients. She doesn’t believe there is such a thing as psychic ability, but she does believe in intuition. Her gift is the ability to gain the trust of her clients and subtly raise her fees as they become more attached to her and her readings.
But when Marina moves her “intuitive counseling” business out of muggy, cloying Florida to the milder environs of southern California, her past follows her. As she takes on new clients—a trophy wife desperate to bear a child, a gay man involved with a closeted psychiatrist, and a philandering businessman who’s smitten with her—a former client resurfaces in an eerie way. Suddenly, Marina is in love for the first time, but it is a romance whose roots lie deep in her past and threaten her efforts to reinvent herself.
As Marina’s life gets more and more entangled with those of her clients, she makes a startling discovery: she suddenly has the actual ability to see the future. After predicting a murder exactly as it happens, she becomes the sole suspect. Now she’s the desperate one—desperate to clear her name and to discover the meaning behind her visions.
Ginsberg's second novel is an entertaining whodunit and an invigorating tale about a damaged young storefront psychic who learns how to live truthfully. Although she has worked as a psychic since childhood, Marina Marks does not believe that psychic abilities exist. Instead, she uses her intuition and observational skills to hoodwink her clients. Arriving in Southern California from Florida, she acquires a new set of clients: Madeleine, the hostess, desperate to maintain her hold on her wealthy husband; Cooper, in love with a psychiatrist who refuses to admit that he is gay; and Eddie, a married womanizer frustrated by his inability to seduce Marina. Ginsberg deftly shows how Marina cultivates her clients' dependency and her own income from their desperation, as well as how easily her clients' trust in her deteriorates. Soon, the threat of violence that Marina left Florida to escape flares up anew, and Marina begins to suspect, to her confusion and dismay, that she may actually be psychic. Ginsberg thoroughly exploits her clever premise, and Marina's handling of her troubles romantic, professional, mystical ring true through to the redemptive end.