Editorial Review: Debunked by Beth Perry

Editorial Review: Debunked by Beth Perry

Craig Herbert's life is turned upside down when the simple task of finding and signing a guest to the TV show he's the executive field producer for turns into a wild pursuit of the truth. 

Skepticism is a necessary trait when working on a television program specifically designed to test - and discredit - all kinds of psychic con artists by luring them in with a three million dollar prize, but Craig always feels that they should still be treated fairly and with respect. Not a sentiment shared by all of his coworkers. However, on one scouting trip out of town, Craig comes face to face with a psychic who genuinely rattles him - there is something strange about Betty Ann. Sure, in stereotypical con artist style, she's young and attractive, has weaseled her way into the hearts and minds of a group of vulnerable old folks, and is even staying in the house of one of the old gents - but from the moment Craig starts interviewing her he is unsettled.

This disquiet turns into anger, however, when she lets him know that she's delved into the worst thing that ever happened to him and is trying to use the cold case disappearance of Craig's kid brother to manipulate him. She agrees to be on the show so Craig returns home and goes about his daily life, checking in on his best friend and coworker Heather, making sure his sister Kesha is having fun on her trip, but he starts seeing things in his dreams - or is he awake? These visions compound the anger he has towards the alleged psychic and he struggles to remain professional.

The television show features three celebrity judges and Craig feels differently towards each one based on how they treat the guests on the show and when Betty Ann arrives for her episode, all three of them treat her exactly the way Craig would expect. Contrary to his expectations though, she doesn't seem to be failing the tough tests set out for her - and his dreams of wandering children are getting worse. She’s opened the wound of his brother’s disappearance and now Craig can’t help but wonder if an answer is coming.

Debunked by Beth Perry focuses on themes of loss, grief, and discovery of self. Throughout, the characters question their own beliefs and situations with realistic hesitation. The on-page characters themselves are likable - most of them, at least - and the conclusion provides a satisfying sense of closure. 

Debunked is an introspective but fast-paced story of self and broader discovery that pulls the reader in and delivers an engaging paranormal thriller.

Maria Grace - Tatzlewurms, Wyverns, and Darcy
FEATURED AUTHOR - Six-time BRAG Medallion Honoree, #1 Best-selling Historical Fantasy author Maria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16-year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/managerial studies/behavior sciences. She pretends to be a mild-mannered writer/cat-lady, but most of her vacations require helmets… Read more