Froese's narrative is rife with paranoia and deceit, and hinges on the contradiction between reality and magic. Everyone is acting, telling half-truths, and harbouring secrets. The reader is always off-balance, trying to learn these secrets simmering beneath the surface. Froese uses fresh metaphors to evoke startling images. Insect imagery is abundant; beetles and preying mantises crawl over the narrative, adding to the eerie darkness. Froese also injects humour and dry wit through her casual conversational writing style. Ultimately, it is Froese's portrayal of the women's subtly budding relationship and trust that is truly beautiful. "What I mostly wonder about is how you turned out to be you," Gareau says to Kostyna. Indeed, much of Froese's mysterious puzzle lies in "solving" Gareau and Kostyna.
The murder mystery conclusion is ambivalent. However, these loose ends mimic reality instead of nicely tying together in the way that only fiction can. Some secrets will be kept and not all contradictions can be reconciled - that is part of the complex yet magical touch of the human self.
-Quill and Quire
Here's another one of those review requests that turned out to be a gem. By the time I was half way through Touch I was really enjoying how Froese handled her characters, and her wry sense of humor. And the ending of the book is sufficiently creepy to get the book classed as Dark Fantasy. Gayleen Froese has a lot of talent. I hope to hear more from her in future.
Humor, magic and darkness make this a book not to be missed. Ms Froese tangles a deceitful web of intrigue that weaves its way around two women out to solve a murder. But that murder isn't the only thing they have to solve. They must also come to trust one another and each has reason not to trust anyone... Now throw in the fact that there is a supernatural thread here as well and you have a terrific read.
-Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine
While it has some supernatural elements to it, they just add seasoning to the wonderful meal that this book is... The dialogue was very real and believable, and the story itself was very fresh. Froese sets a wonderful pace, not unlike a person driving a boat pulling a water skier, keeping the speed just right. Froese has a unique voice and I hope to read more of her work soon.
-Crime Spree Magazine
Slick, snappy dialogue dominates Froese's prose and does dual duty of making her rough 'n' tumble lead characters fully fleshed and likable, as well as actively drive the increasingly intriguing plot-the mystery unfolds in only a period of a few days.
The real treat here is the often caustic friendship Anna develops with boisterous, redhead Collette, who makes everyone wait 14 days till they can call her Collie.
They are two independent, emotionally jaded women with resourceful senses of deduction, who are afraid to impulsively enter into a world where the inexplicable happens on a regular basis, but together they do so anyway.
Essentially, throughout Froese's perfectly paced novel, Anna and Collette are so unrelenting in unraveling the murder mystery that I never considered the paranormal passages of Touch as being gimmicky contrivances, but instead just part of the story.
An engaging read that surpassed my expectations with every turn of the page.
Touch unfolds a spooky mystery while exploring how a lonely, suspicious personality learns to trust and reach out to friendship... The protagonist is interesting and has a unique ability. The plot is riveting with its series of uncanny crimes.
Touch is a good story about magical and supernatural powers and being a first novel portends good things from Ms. Froese in the future. I think the setting she has created here has lots of possibilities to explore how magic and its practitioners could interact with the modern day world. If the supernatural interests you, give Touch a read.
A strong relationship develops between the book's two main characters... the two illustrate how regular people might go about investigating a murder.
-Prince Albert Herald