Book Review: Pulse

Michael Harvey’s “Pulse” (Ecco/ 386 page) blends gritty detective fiction with elements of the paranormal.

The story takes place in the Boston of 1976 which is a tinderbox for racial violence

following the decision to integrate schools. Daniel Fitzsimmons, a precocious

16-year-old whose parents are dead, has moved out of his older brother’s apartment

to live on his own with a mysterious physics professor, Simon Lane.

One fateful night, Daniel senses his brother Harry being killed in an alley.

Upon arriving at the crime scene, the two police officers assigned to this homicide case, Barkley Jones and Tommy Dillon, are shocked to find Daniel bent over his dead brother.

As seasoned detectives who have seen their share of crime in the seedy sections of Boston, they are wary of Daniel’s apparent extra-sensory perception. Their suspicions become even more heightened when they find that Daniel was with his mother when she died under mysterious circumstances.

To solve the murder of Harry Fitzsimmons, they must first try to understand the enigmatic Daniel.

As the case unfolds, the reader may find the most “grounded in reality” element

in this story is the subplot concerning police corruption in what is a very unusual murder mystery.