Distance is the third book in David Pandolfe's 'Streetlights Like Fireworks' series. It's a good'un, too.
Jack and Lauren are both in college at UW in Seattle. Lauren starts seeing a little girl who makes fire with her hands and a runaway teenager. As her psychic visions become stronger, she and Jack embark on another quest to make sense of it all.
They face fire and physical attacks that try to dissuade them from finding the runaway girl before she comes to a bad end.
Unlike the first two books, the pair have no personal connection to the object of their search, which somehow makes this story better AND worse. Better because they find themselves starting cold and developing their psychic clues into the overall picture as they get closer to finding out the truth. Worse because there isn't the personal emotional connection to the subjects they meet as in the first two books.
They go up against another 'psychic' that may or may not be legit. That question wasn't answered in this story. Maybe in the next book?
The theme of 'Distance' is a bit on the dark side as it delves into the seedy underbelly of the runaway/homeless scene that is found in any city. The incident under the viaduct with Rose and Tamara serves to point out the inherent dangers that runaways face in this country. Runaways or 'Travellers', the willfuly homeless, face dangers that normal society can't even imagine. Pandolfe displays a few realistic glimpses into this subculture very well, if grimly.
The story also tells of the burgeoning relationship between Lauren and Jack as they become closer than ever before. Their story together becomes a bit more complex as Jack's adoptive family begins to make demands on his independence. What will become of this, we can only hope to see in future books. Then there's his connection to his biological grandparents that needs attention.
These stories just keep dragging the reader in. While entertaining, they begin to create an emotional bond between the reader and Pandolfe's lush characters. You just can't let yourself NOT care what happens to them and their personal relationships.
This is a great story that will suck you in like a whirlpool with a balsawood toy boat. Try it, you'll like it.