|Reviewed by Sid Weaver
|Before this story even begins we read in the Prologue about a young man from Bolder,
Colorado just setting out on a hike around the rim of the Grand Canyon. He makes it up onto
the trail where it is icy and cold on this early April morning. He is taking in the crisp morning
air and admiring the breath-taking vista of the canyon when someone comes up and pushes
him from behind. He manages to grab onto a small bush at the edge but that is not enough
to hold him and he plunges to his death 500 feet below on the jagged rocks.
|Adam Meyer leaves Sharon and Nathan behind; a wife and son who are devastated and can't
seem to even begin to get through the grieving process to go on with their lives. Sharon is
convinced that Adam was murdered. There is just no way he would commit suicide. He was
not the type. Sure, he had financial problems with some Internet gambling and his web
business was not doing real great, but he would not have killed himself. But, the county
coroner ruled the death an accident and the police would not entertain the idea of conducting
a murder investigation.
|So, when Sharon met up with Cleopatra Sims, a practicing psychologist with an unusual
approach to helping patients in dealing with grief, she was immediately interested. Cleo was
operating a privately funded project she called “The Connect Project” in which she assisted
patients in making contact with their dead loved ones. She had documented quite a few cases
where some of the patients had managed to make contact and were able to work out their
guilt by talking directly to their recently departed family member. They were able to seek and
receive forgiveness or were disabused of the idea that they were responsible for the death.
Sharon needed exactly this kind of help so she and Cleo began to work on the process of
connecting. Sharon was sure she could find out from Adam who killed him.
|But there are a few people close to Sharon who are opposed. Sharon's father is a professor
of psychology at the university and feels Cleo is a fake and may be endangering Sharon.
Sharon's close boyfriend, Erik, thinks she should let the past alone and get on with her life.
So there is some tension. It gets more tense when Sharon's father enters a formal complaint
with the state licensing board claiming that Cleo is practicing unsafe and unapproved
psychological methods and may be endangering her patient also claiming the Cleo is delusional
|Cleo visits her aged grandmother every few days in the nursing home where she is being
cared for with her Alzheimer's affliction. Cleo has major disagreements with the medical
director who believes in massive medication for the Alzheimer's patients to keep the quiet and
less troublesome. In her dealings at the home she becomes suspicious that the doctor is
involved in some shady activities and may be defrauding Medicaid or selling drugs illegally.
|As she and Sharon talk and manage to make a couple of contacts they discuss who might
have wanted to murder Adam. It could be Erik who they discover is really not Erik but is
Horace. He is a scam artist who has had two wives that died in mysterious circumstances
leaving him small fortunes that he squandered. It could be Adam's ex-wife who is a bit loony
and had attempted to run him down with her car one time. It could be Sharon's own father
who is a control freak and never did like Adam. It is all quite complicated. At first Adam did
not seem to have any enemies but we gradually see that there were probably some people
who might have had the motive. But how can you prove anything? There was not a shred of
evidence that Adam was pushed to his death so what could be done?
|Lynn Osterkamp keeps us readers right on the edge of our deck chairs or recliners or
wherever we like to read our stories, right up the the final chapters where the truth finally
comes out. It gets exciting and it stays mysterious, two qualities I really love in a mystery
story. I give “Too Near the Edge” an 8 of 10 on the Weaver meter.