BLACKBIRDS by Chuck Wendig

Angry Robot
Pub date: April 24th, 2012
Mass market paperback

Miriam Black lives on the outskirts of society. A self-professed scavenger, she can be found hitchhiking along the highways, living off of the spoils of the recently deceased. How does she know where to find the recently deceased?

Once she touches you, she knows how, and when, you will die.
This is her curse. For the last eight years, Miriam has shouldered this burden. It has pushed her to the farthest fringes of society, made her a drifter and a loner. With her messenger bag of worldly possessions, Miriam cruises from town to town, from bar to bar. It’s not much of a life, but when all you can see is death, it suits her fine.

A confirmed loner, Miriam is pressured into a partnership with grifter Ashley Gaynes. Ashley is the bad boy Miriam can’t say “no” to. When Ashley becomes convinced their next mark is cross-country trucker Louis Darling, our story really kicks into high gear. Miriam has been witness to scores of visions of pending deaths, but when she touches Louis, she sees him brutally murdered as he calls her name. How Louis’ death ties in with Ashley, the briefcase he carries, and the unstoppable pair of killers that circle ever closer is a mystery that may just end in the death Miriam can’t foresee – her own.

This book was a blast to read. The story unfolds at a breakneck pace, filled with dialog that begs to be read aloud. Just be careful whom you read it out loud to. While Miriam is a lovable mess of a woman, she can, and does, turn a phrase that would make a sailor blush. A chain-smoking, hard drinking heroine that curses a blue streak, you find yourself completely invested in Miriam. You want to know what events lead to her strange powers, and what will it take for her to break the bonds of Fate that hold her and Louis so tightly.
This is a book that you start at breakfast, read on your break at work, and then finish at the dinner table because you just can’t put it down. I’m counting the days until the next book in Miriam’s story hits the shelf. Come on, MOCKINGBIRD!

You can follow Chuck Wendig on twitter @ChuckWendig

Dan Malmon