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Autumn Rain is accustomed to using her ability to read imprints to solve seemingly unsolvable cases. Yet when she goes searching for the sister of a friend, she is embroiled in the make-believe world of live theater, where it's difficult to tell reality from playacting and where everyone appears to have something to hide.
Autumn must team up again with Detective Shannon Martin to learn the truth about and eight-year-old mystery that involves a new murder and more missing actors. Working so closely with the compelling detective further complicates their uncertain relationship and tests her loyalty to her once-boyfriend Jake Ryan.
When her sister, Tawnia, becomes involved in the case, Autumn finds herself in a deadly struggle to save them both from facing their own final call.
- Size: 6 x 9
- Pages: 262
- Released: 02/2012
About the Author
Rachel Ann Nunes (pronounced noon-sh) learned to read when she was four, beginning a lifelong fascination with the written word. She began writing in the seventh grade and is now the author of more than thirty published books, including the popular Ariana series and the award-winning picture book Daughter of a King.
Rachel and her husband, TJ, have seven children. She loves camping with her family, traveling, meeting new people, and, of course, writing. She writes Monday through Friday in her home office, taking frequent breaks to take care of kids or go swimming with them.
Rachel loves hearing from her readers. You can write to her at Rachel@RachelAnnNunes.com. To enjoy her monthly newsletter or to sign up to hear about new releases, visit her website, www.RachelAnnNunes.com.
I lifted the Ruger LCP .380, racked it quickly, and fired. Three shots in rapid succession—boom, boom, boom. Three more shots emptied the magazine. My target jerked repeatedly. Not unlike the jolting of my heart.
“Not bad.” Detective Shannon Martin looked over my shoulder at the man-shaped paper target. Four of the rounds had hit the chest. Another went through the head. Only one was missing. “You sure you haven’t done this before?”
“No,” I snapped. Truth was, I didn’t want to be doing this now. My consulting position with the Portland police had led to my being imprisoned in an underground cellar, shot, and injured in numerous other ways, but a gun was going too far. I’d never shoot anyone, even if my life depended on it. That was the way I’d been raised.
“What’s wrong?” Shannon’s eyes went from my face to the Ruger and back again. “You aren’t picking up any imprints, are you?”
We were alone inside the range, so I pushed off the earmuffs he’d insisted I wear to protect my ears from the sounds—great idea, it turned out. “No imprints,” I said. Well, one faint imprint of satisfaction that Shannon had left when he’d shot the gun a week earlier, and even now I was probably leaving a few of resentment and maybe a little pride. Fortunately, these less vivid imprints didn’t bother me.
“The older lady I bought it from said she’d shot it only a few times,” he added.
“You know that if I ever actually used this on someone, I’d never be able to use it again. I’d have to relive the memory every time I touched it.”
He shrugged. “I’d just find you another one.”
I guess as a police detective that didn’t bother him—shopping for guns, the possibility of shooting someone. All of it bothered me. I mean, I know people have the right to defend themselves, but it was quite another thing to be the one actually pulling the trigger.
“Can we quit now?” I started to hand him the gun, barrel down, the way he’d drilled me to these past few weeks.
“Not yet. You have to shoot at least a hundred rounds a month to stay in practice—and that’s assuming you’re hitting anything, which you are, fortunately. Now load her up again.”
“A hundred? Please tell me rounds are individual bullets and not a whole clip.” I’d gone shooting with him only once before and couldn’t remember the terminology. My faulty memory might have a remote—a very remote—connection to his unusual eyes. There’s something about them, something, perhaps, in the green-blue color that illuminates his face. Or maybe it’s the framing of his light brown lashes that make them so compelling. It’s hard to think about anything else if I get caught in his gaze, so mostly I try not to look.
“Magazine,” he corrected. “It’s a not a clip. I know people call them that, but that’s not what they are. The magazine is what holds the rounds—in this case, six rounds. And yes, rounds are individual bullets.”
So six bullets went into the magazine, which in turn slid into the bottom of the gun grip, or handle as we rookies called it. Not rocket science by any stretch. Sighing internally, I pushed the magazine release button, placed the gun on the small stand in front of me, and began pushing bullets into the magazine.
Shannon stopped me when I went to put the magazine back in. “Visually check the chamber first, just to make sure nothing’s caught.”
I did as he asked before proceeding to shred more of my target.
Shannon seemed more puzzled than pleased at my success. I didn’t see what was so hard. You aimed and you shot. It was, well, rather easy. Kind of fun, too, which I would never confess to Shannon. I derived a strange sort of contentment from irritating him, a trait he definitely shared when it came to me.
I shrugged. “I have good eyesight.” Once again I had to raise my voice to near yelling because of our earmuffs.
“All those herbs?” he mouthed a bit derisively, pushing the box of bullets at me.
I didn’t take offense. Everyone was entitled to his opinion—even the annoying Detective Martin. My adoptive parents had been self-proclaimed hippies who owned an herb store, so naturally I’d consumed more than my share of herbs. Growing up with them had been unusual, but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything—well, except maybe the opportunity to grow up with my twin, but that couldn’t be changed now.
“Satisfied?” I asked when the man-shaped target finally tore in two at the chest and fell to the ground.
Shannon allowed himself a grin. “I’ve seen longtime police officers do worse.”
Not exactly a compliment, but Shannon was careful that way. Maybe it was because he liked me far more than he wanted to. Or maybe because he’d finally started to trust me and my weird gift of reading imprints and begun to realize that there was nothing to hold him back from his attraction to me now.
Nothing except my maybe-boyfriend, Jake, and my own reluctance to trust a man who until a few months ago thought I was mostly nuts.
Shannon was staring at me with those eyes that probably were responsible for more convictions than any detective work he’d ever done. I looked instead into his hairline. His hair, usually somewhere between brown and blond, was on the darker side now that we were in November. He needed a haircut, and the ends were beginning to curl with the length.
For a long time he didn’t speak, though the air was suddenly heavy with whatever he’d left unspoken. Carefully, he began packing things away. He handed me the Ruger, zipped in a lightly padded cover. “Keep it in your purse until I get you an ankle holster. There’s an extra magazine in there, too. I’ve filled them both with hollow points for a bigger impact.”
“No way.” I pushed the weapon back at him. “I don’t even use a purse half the time.”
“Well, you can’t carry it on you without a holster.”
“I’m not going to carry it at all.”
“What do you think that class and all that fingerprinting was about? Your concealed-carry permit arrived in the mail, didn’t it? You should have it on you at all times, whether you’re carrying or not, in case you end up with a gun while working a case.”
Okay, I had taken a class on gun safety and found it interesting. Since I’d been shot in the leg during our last adventure and had somehow ended up with the gun, albeit unloaded, I’d wanted to feel more comfortable with handguns in case such a thing ever happened again. But I wouldn’t have taken the class at all if I’d known Shannon was going to insist that I actually carry a weapon.
“I’ve got the permit in my wallet, but I read that women who own guns are more likely to be shot than those who don’t,” I told him.
He snorted. “That’s only women who aren’t trained and who aren’t going to practice every few weeks.” He scrubbed a hand over his hair, and I followed the motion. “Speaking of which, there is a more intensive training I’d like you to attend. It’s only three days. You get great target practice in a lifelike town. Popups and stuff.”
“No, no, and no! Look, I have a niece now, and I can’t have a gun around my apartment or at my store. If you make me take it, I’m just going to put it in my glove compartment.”
“You don’t even lock your car.” The way he said car left me no doubt that he didn’t believe my rusty Toyota hatchback was worthy of the name. He might have a point. It was always breaking down.
“Oh, right. Guess that sets me up for all kinds of liability.”
“Yeah, the jail kind.” He was kind of cute when he was upset, though that was certainly not why I was arguing with him. “Look,” he continued, “your niece is only, what, three months old? It’s going to be a while before she can rack and shoot a gun. By then you’ll have a safe installed.”
“At the department’s expense?” They’d agreed to start paying me a consulting fee for reading imprints, but it wasn’t a lot.
“Sure.” At this point, he’d say whatever it took to get me to take the gun, but I doubted the safe would come from the department. They didn’t care if I carried a gun. They’d probably rather I didn’t. But Shannon was president of the Autumn Needs to Be More Careful Club, which meant he cared about me. I wished he didn’t. It made my life more complicated.
I took the gun and put it in my coat pocket. “There’s not a bullet in the chamber, is there?”
“No. You’d have to rack it before you could shoot. But you should have checked yourself if that’s the way you plan to carry it. Remember the class?”
“Oh, right.” I wouldn’t carry the gun with a bullet in the chamber like he did, though my permit gave me license to do so. I didn’t trust it not to go off accidentally, but an unracked gun couldn’t fire, so I was safe.
Outside it was raining—again. The wind was doing its thing, too, which made Portland bitterly cold this time of year. Shannon glanced instinctively at my feet, perhaps forgetting that during the most bitter winter months, even I usually wore something to cover my feet when I went outside. Instead of my customary winter moccasins, today I wore the boots my sister, Tawnia, had given me—without a heel, fur-lined, and advertised as footwear that made you feel as if you were barefoot. They were almost like wearing thick socks, but unlike the socks I occasionally resorted to, they were waterproof. I hated not feeling a connection with the earth as I normally did in bare feet, but cold weather like this usually convinced me to use the boots or my moccasins.
I’d begun using gloves, too, something I’d done before every now and again in winter, though not for the same reason I used them now. I’d realized only in the past month that gloves protected me from accidentally finding random imprints and reliving experiences that weren’t mine.
Of course I wasn’t prepared to wear gloves all the time. My shoe-hating, herb-loving, spirit-connected-to-the-universe upbringing wouldn’t let me go that far. But sometimes after stumbling on a particularly virulent imprint, I was tempted.
Zipping my coat, I ran to Shannon’s truck. Yes, a truck. I knew his house was built on an acre of land, so it made sense he might need a truck for something related to that, but I’d been so accustomed to seeing him in his white, unmarked police Mustang that when he’d come to pick me up, I’d felt a little taken aback. For some reason the blue truck made him seem more real—normal, maybe. Almost as though I’d seen a part of him that was too private to share.
It’s just a truck, I told myself.
The weight of the Ruger felt heavy in my coat pocket. At least it could sit in a drawer at my antiques shop while I was working. My niece wasn’t old enough even to crawl yet, much less open a drawer. Before much longer, though, it’d have to be in a safe or in a holster.
The idea of needing a gun was enough to make me seriously consider getting out of the imprint business. Except I didn’t choose to read imprints. That just happened. Psychometry was the official name, the ability to pick up scenes and emotions left on certain beloved objects or on objects involved in extremely emotional situations. I used my talent to find missing people, and the police used it through me. Some scientists believed that people like me developed part of our brains that ordinarily remained inactive. For all I knew, they were right. I believed it was also hereditary, though because I was adopted, I wasn’t sure where the ability had come from.
“Who’s that?” Shannon asked.
We’d arrived outside my shop, where a bundled figure was pacing in front of my store. My employee, Thera Brinker, should have been inside, but even if she weren’t and the door was still locked, all my customers knew they could reach Autumn’s Antiques from the Herb Shoppe next door, owned by my friend and maybe-boyfriend, Jake Ryan.
The person outside was not a customer, then, but someone else waiting to see me.
“I don’t know.” I peered at the tall figure. Besides the fact that the person was likely male, I couldn’t see much beyond the coat and the beanie he wore. I started to open the truck door.
“Wait. I’m coming with you.”
I sighed. Shannon had been annoying before he’d stopped being so suspicious of me, but this was ridiculous. Ignoring him, I jumped from the truck and hurried toward my store.
The figure stopped pacing when he saw me. “Autumn,” he said, giving me a tentative smile. “Hey, are your eyes two different colors or is it just the light?”
I’d know that smile anywhere—and the familiar greeting. My eyes were a different color, but only those who really saw me ever actually noticed. “Is that you, Bean Pole? Did you grow another three inches? Long time no see.” It’d been months, in fact, since I’d seen Liam Taylor. At least seven.
Liam nodded. “I need to talk to you. It’s important.” Before I could respond, his eyes went beyond me to Shannon, who’d finally caught up to us. “Is he a cop?” Liam asked in an undertone.
If Liam hadn’t been so serious, I might have laughed. He’d made Shannon as a cop dressed in civilian clothes on a Saturday afternoon. In the rain. That said a lot about Shannon—or about Liam. I hoped it was about Shannon and not Liam because I’d thought he’d come a long way since I first caught him shoplifting in my store.
“Why? You got something to hide?” Trust Shannon to make a comeback like that.
“Shannon’s a friend,” I said to Liam, throwing Shannon a glare. “What do you need to see me about?”
Liam shivered. “Can we go inside? I brought you something to, uh, see.”
He meant something to read, as in imprints. A knot formed inside me. I hoped he wasn’t in trouble. Either way, I had to get Shannon out of the picture.
“Okay, let’s go inside.” I turned to Shannon. “Thanks for the lesson.”
“You sure you don’t want me to stay?” He was using those incredible eyes to full advantage. I wondered if he knew how powerful they were. Probably.
“I’m fine. Jake’s next door if I need help.”
Shannon stiffened. Wrong thing to say, but he knew my feelings for Jake, and I wasn’t going to start hiding them now simply because I was also attracted to Shannon.
“Liam’s harmless,” I added. “He used to work for me.”
Only a little bit of a stretch. I’d put Liam to work after I’d caught him shoplifting one of my antique music boxes last year. He’d seemed sincere when he said it was to send to his sister for her birthday. I hadn’t simply given it to him like my father would have done—or invited him to dinner and ask if he needed a place to stay. I was too poor to go that far. But I had let him work off the music box in exchange for helping to move and arrange my displays. I even gave him the music box wholesale so he wouldn’t have to work more than a few days. After that I’d given him several more odd jobs I could barely afford whenever he was desperate, just enough to keep him honest. Then he’d graduated from high school and found a real job for the summer. He was supposed to be in college now, living on a merit scholarship and a bit of help from his parents.
“I’ll call you about the safe.” Shannon’s eyes followed Liam, who was already opening the door to my store.
It was awkward leaving Shannon, though it hadn’t always been. Now I never knew if I should hug him or say something to push him away. Lately, I’d really, really wanted not to push him away, but there was still Jake, and I didn’t want to hurt him.
I followed Liam into my store and motioned him to wait in the back room so I could help Thera with the rush of people. Normally, I would have taken time to at least wave to Jake, but there was no chance of that now. Saturday mornings were always brisk in the antiques shop, and I had to hurry from my early morning tae kwon do class to get there in time to help. The afternoons usually picked up from there. It was good for my pocketbook, though it made it hard to dart out at lunchtime for a brief shooting lesson. Unfortunately, Saturday was the only time Shannon was available during the day, and an evening seemed too much like a date to me.
“How did the lesson go?” Thera asked. As usual her white hair was swept up on the top on her head in an elegant knot, and she was wearing all blue, which she insisted was a calming color.
That reminded me of the weight in my coat pocket, one I couldn’t rid myself of in front of my customers. “Apparently, I’m a natural.”
“I thought you might be. You have good instincts.”
I shrugged off the coat and set it under the counter, followed by my boots. I wiggled my freed toes and sighed with relief.
“Well, about most things,” amended Thera, glancing at my feet in disapproval. She was always worried I’d catch my death of cold, even in midsummer, or contract some strange illness, no matter how many times I told her I washed my feet more than most people washed their hands—and how they touched a lot worse things on doorknobs. She didn’t want to hear it.
“I hope you got a chance to grab some lunch,” she added, “because it’s been like this the whole time you were gone.”
“I did.” We’d grabbed a sandwich on our way to the range. I felt bad for leaving Thera on a day when it was so busy, but Shannon had been insistent. I knew he still felt responsible for the last time I’d been hurt.
When we were down to the last customer at the register and two more who were browsing, Thera turned to me, waving a blue-clad arm. “I can take care of the rest. That boy seems kind of anxious. He’s poked his head out a half dozen times already.”
In my narrow back room, which ran the width of my store, Liam wasn’t sitting in the comfortable easy chair that beckoned to me with an almost hypnotic call. He’d taken off his coat and laid it on the long worktable but was pacing from the shop door to the bathroom at the far end. He was as lanky as always—college life hadn’t improved that—and his hair looked as though he hadn’t combed it in a week, though it didn’t seem greasy.
“So what’s up?” I asked, ignoring my easy chair and going to heat water on the stove so I could make a nice soothing tea. I wanted to ask if he was in trouble, but he’d come to me, and I’d let him tell me what he wanted in his own time. I took two mugs from the overhead cupboard.
“It’s Rosemary, my sister.”
I turned to look at him more closely. His brown eyes were worried and tinged with red that probably came from too many late nights and cram study sessions. “What about her? Is it her birthday again? Do you need a present?”
My attempt to lighten the mood didn’t even register. “She’s missing.”
“What makes you say that?”
He stopped pacing and pulled at the side of his hair. “She was supposed to meet me yesterday for lunch when she had a rehearsal break, but she never showed up.”
“Maybe she forgot.”
“She wouldn’t do that. We haven’t seen each other in like a year. She’s not even answering her cell. I’d go to her apartment, but I don’t know where she’s staying. My parents say she’s a flake and not to worry, but that’s only because they’re still mad about how she dropped out of college to tour with that theater company a couple of years ago.”
I had to play devil’s advocate. “What makes you think they’re wrong?” I placed a tea bag in each mug. Peach, Liam’s favorite, with no caffeine or anything else to get him more worked up.
“She’s only been back a few weeks, and she wouldn’t leave without seeing me. We’ve talked a lot on the phone, and she was all excited about a new part she was trying out for with some other theater company. Said it was a smaller outfit but with better connections. She practiced day and night to get the part, and then she did. She was so excited. I know she wouldn’t just disappear. I went over to the company, but she hadn’t shown up to rehearsal yesterday.” His eyes held mine. “Please, Autumn. I don’t know who else can help.”
“Maybe the police.”
“That’s why I asked if that guy was a cop. I thought I recognized him from the newspaper article about that real estate fraud business going on last summer. I was hoping he was and that you might get him to help.”
Oh, I’d read that wrong. I’d been thinking Liam’s problems were the kind that bordered on unlawful and that it’d be easier to convince him to make good without Shannon hovering over us menacingly. “Well, she’s an adult with a history of taking off, so the more proof we have, the better. But if your sister really is missing, we’ll need to let the police search for her. They have information I don’t have access to.”
“Yeah, but they can’t read imprints.” He crossed to the worktable and yanked a plastic grocery sack from the pocket of his coat—a deep pocket by the size of whatever was in the bag. “She had a cubby at the theater company. I took these from it when they weren’t looking.” Liam flushed. “It wasn’t stealing.”
“Of course not.” I poured the hot water into the cups and took a deep breath. Probably these imprints wouldn’t tell me anything. Since the items had simply been sitting on her shelf, it wasn’t likely I’d have to relive a murder or a kidnapping.
Liam waited, the sack extended. I handed him a warm mug before removing the antique rings I wore to dull any unexpected imprints I might accidentally touch when I was out and about. When I wasn’t wearing gloves, that is. The rings held comforting imprints that would counter any negative ones, but they would also get in the way of my perception.
I removed the rings slowly, deliberately. I knew I was delaying. Months had passed since I’d come across a seriously evil imprint, but I remembered how it had sapped my strength. I wondered what might happen if someday I went too deep, if the imprint was too strong, too horrible. Would I recover?
There was no one to ask, so I didn’t know. I’d been helping Shannon and his partner, Tracy, on cases, but I suspected Shannon had deliberately kept me from consulting on the really bad ones—murders, rapes, brutal muggings. I hadn’t pushed. Now I felt guilty. While I was protecting myself, how many more people had been hurt?
Leaving my tea untouched, I reached for the grocery sack. Liam watched me intently, not pushing. He was that sort of kid. Patient, studious, dedicated to his sister.
Gently, I shook out the contents of the sack onto the worktable—a worn copy of a play script, a square bag with a makeup brush peeking out the zipper, a pair of leather gloves, a brush, and a small see-through purse filled with elastics, hair clips, and bobby pins. It wasn’t much, but if she’d used these objects every day, there might be imprints. Probably not on the gloves, though they were leather and had a better chance than regular cloth. Clothes that were often washed and things easily dismissed or forgotten never evoked enough emotion to hold imprints. Fortunately, or my life would be a living nightmare. I’d have to wear gloves to buy fruit and milk at the corner grocery.
There were imprints on the objects. I could feel them radiating, beckoning. What I couldn’t tell without touching them was if they were positive or negative imprints. If I could figure that out, my life would be a lot more simple.
“Autumn,” came a voice from the door.
I looked up to see Jake’s dark, good-looking face, framed by the black dreadlocks that always made people stop and notice. In his typical snug T-shirt, he looked strong and a little dangerous, but if you’d seen him helping little old ladies in his herb shop, you’d change your mind about that in a hurry. He’d been my best friend for years and a little bit more than my friend this past summer. I’d trust him with my life.
His eyes took in the objects Liam had brought and the antique rings I’d set down next to them. A flash of hurt registered on his face. Once he’d been my biggest supporter where imprints were concerned, but after our summer run-in with a branch of organized crime and a crooked attorney who’d stooped to kidnapping and illegal adoption, Jake had begun to exhibit reluctance about my reading imprints. He no longer brought in anyone who wanted imprints read, and he didn’t encourage me to talk about helping people. I knew his guilt ran deep about having been unable to protect me, and nearly dying himself hadn’t helped matters, but I figured that was something he would have to get over on his own. I’d finally been honest with myself about what I now saw as my calling, and I couldn’t let his fear stop me, even if I knew it stemmed from love. Besides, what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.
Or so I’d thought.
There had been a time when, if Jake had found me about to read something, he would have put his arms around me and drawn me close for a strengthening kiss—and a part of me still wished he’d do that. But he knew I was torn, and that was enough for him to back away. Not completely, though. He’d made it very clear how he felt about me. Now it was my turn. He was my best friend, and I loved him, but I didn’t know if I loved him enough. As much as he loved me.
“You remember Liam,” I said to cover the awkwardness.
Jake dragged his eyes from the table. “Oh, yeah. Hey, Bean Pole, how you been?”
“Okay.” Liam nodded a greeting but didn’t elaborate, anxiousness exuding from him in waves. I’d better hurry, or he might lose it altogether.
“His sister’s missing,” I added. “I’m going to—” I shrugged. “You know.”
Jake’s gaze came back to me. “You should have called me. I’d like to help.”
I knew what it cost him to say that, but I wasn’t sure I wanted him to stay—though if the imprints were bad, it’d be safer for me if he did. He knew what to do.
Jake glanced out the door into the store and frowned as though remembering something.
“Did you need help in the Herb Shoppe?” I asked. He could be here only to see me, but he’d had just as many customers or more than I had, so I suspected another reason.
“No.” His face became more animated, but the line of concern on his brow deepened. “There’s a woman in the Herb Shoppe. Her name is Suzy Olsen. She came in looking for your mom.”
“For Summer?” My adoptive mother had died when I was eleven, and I was surprised one of her acquaintances hadn’t heard.
“Not Summer. Well, not directly. She was looking for Summer but only to ask about Kendall. She says she knew her.”
All at once there wasn’t enough air in the room. Kendall was the almost sixteen-year-old who’d died after giving birth to my sister and then to me—twins who’d been separated by the attending physician, Floyd Loveridge, and given to two adoptive couples. I knew little more than that, and every lead we’d researched had gone dry.
by Evelyn - reviewed on March 14, 2013
I love this series of books, and this one is no exception! I enjoy the characters, and the underlying mystery in their family dynamics, as well as the twists and turns in the current adventures. I can't wait for more - I hope the series goes on and on...
by Customer - reviewed on March 09, 2012
I could not finish it since it was soo similar to the others in this series. Sorry
by Marianne - reviewed on February 21, 2012
I’m not going to tell you the synopsis of this book. You can read the publisher’s take below. But I will tell you I loved it. I have read the two previous books in this series (Shades of Gray and Imprints) and enjoyed them immensely. Sometimes, as a series progresses, the characters lose steam and likeability. This was not this case. Autumn and Tawnia are vibrant and deep. They aren’t surface characters where their emotions and actions are predictable and “cookie-cutter”. This book is going on my favorites list. I stayed up all night to finish this book. I just had to know what happened! If reading were a drug...this would be the ultimate fix.
Keep them coming
by Erin - reviewed on March 22, 2012
This has been a fun series to read. I was nervous at first about the paranormal twist to the books, but it has been a fun addition to the stories. I really hope more books are coming. I can't wait to learn more about her biological family.
Kick Your Shoes Off and Enjoy!
by susan - reviewed on March 09, 2012
Imagine that if you touched an object that had been held during an emotional moment you could not just feel that emotion, but sometimes, depending on the degree of how powerful that emotion was--love, hate, contentment, jealousy, peace, anger, etc.--you actually relived the moment as if it were you. Confused? Well suppose there was a glass and when you touched the glass you suddenly saw yourself stirring a white powder into the lemonade that was now in the glass. And your thoughts were suddenly those of the person who had done that very thing at an earlier time--thoughts of murder. Autumn Rain's abilities to feel "imprints" have both tormented her and driven her. In the two previous books, "Imprints" and "Shades of Gray" she was able to use her abilities to help solve murders--to where she now consults with the police department. However, this time it's complicated. The imprints are on props that a theater company has used for years. Reality is getting confused with acting. The story is filled with conflicts. With one girl murdered and another missing, both in the same acting company, and within hours of each other, logic says the two would be connected. However, none of the suspects (that seem to multiply every hour) appear to have motive for both. She finds herself torn between protecting her family and helping a friend--hopefully in time to save a life. And then there is the personal confusion Autumn needs to sort out--whether she wants to be with the devastatingly good-looking man that is her best friend, or the police detective whose eyes unnerve her. I enjoyed "Final Call." It is fast paced and keeps the reader guessing, though I found myself wishing Autumn would just kiss the right guy already! I liked Autumn's quirky preference to go barefoot. I worried about her choice of a black sweatshirt over cargo pants, but I reasoned that she must be adorable to have two men competing for her. Because it was intriguing, as were the characters, I read this book much quicker than usual.