This an FBI thriller/suspense story.
Whilst I quite liked the storyline I was not so enthused by the characters and their descriptions. I thought that Chase came out as a better described character than Sophie. But overall, neither character came across sharply.
My overall impression of the writing was that it was rather ‘doughy’ in style – sticky and and bit soft. needed to be sharpened up.
This an FBI thriller/suspense story.
Barnes and Noble Editors say: In Taylor’s chilling sequel to 2017’s White Silence, Elizabeth Cage, a human lie detector who can detect other people’s secrets, has attracted unwelcome attention. In order to live as quiet a life as possible and avoid being deployed as a psychological warfare weapon, Cage flees her home in Rushford, England, with the idea that if she keeps on the move, she’ll be able to remain free. After taking a random series of buses, Cage ends up in Greyston, a creepy, suspiciously neat village, which reminds her of one in a TV program “where half the population is dead by the end of the second advert break.” Her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Greyston is a matriarchal society led by the Three Sisters, who preside over the annual ritual slaughter of the man designated as the Year King, and she’s told that she must become one of the Three Sisters. While the trope is a familiar one, Taylor makes it her own with both humorous and ominous passages. This supernatural thriller will please fans of the classic film The Wicker Man. (Mar.)
This is Jodi Taylor’s second book in this series. And for my mind this is where the story should end.
Jodi is a storyteller in great tradition of the Icelandic Sagas. You get hooked on the story and the characters and want more – the story is many stories wrapped up in one. Some authors might have been tempted to split it into several books, but for me, it was more satisfactory to read the great saga as one. Jodi gave me the full experience.
Unlike her stories about St Mary’s these are not light and humorous stories, but equally well-crafted and very dark indeed in places that echo traditional myths about the Mother and the Year King and fertility rites.
I thought the ending was a good ending and at present find it difficult to see how another story could be added, but Jodi surprises me a lot with her imagination and story craft so…
April Henry Tells why she wrote this book:
After I read news stories about a group of hikers was trapped by the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017, I knew immediately that I wanted to put fictional hikers in a similar situation. The real group of hikers trapped at Punchbowl Falls numbered over a hundred, but that’s far too many to follow for a book. I cut it down to about a dozen.
In real life, as in the book, people who had planned on doing an easy three mile round-trip trek to a swimming hole suddenly found themselves forced to hike over twenty miles on much more treacherous trails, much of it at night.
I was fascinated by the idea of this disparate group of people having to pull together if they are to survive. And after writing books featuring serial killers, it was kind of fun to write one where the serial killer is nature. I wanted the characters to survive everything the environment might throw at them, so I brainstormed scenarios with a search and rescue leader. He told me some crazy true stories about the Eagle Creek Fire. One was about a large tree that toppled and torpedoed down a couple thousand feet of scree slope, which sheared off all its limbs and turned into a giant log missile. I used that in the book.
I decided that my main character had survived a house fire as a child, so I researched house fires, burn units, and trauma therapy.
For additional research, my husband and I hiked in the unburned side of the Gorge in Washington State so that I could take pictures and make mental notes.
I also became certified in wilderness first aid.
The fire struck close to home. In fact, if the winds had shifted, it could have reached Portland. Even so, it burned for weeks. On many days, my car was coated in ash. The Columbia Gorge is considered one of the jewels of Oregon, but now the trees that used to stand sentinel on the hills are nothing but blackened stubs. Surviving a wild fire unfortunately continues to be a timely topic, as the summer of 2020 saw even fiercer wildfires burning in California, Oregon and Washington.
April Henry is the New York Times–bestselling author of many acclaimed mysteries for adults and young adults, including the YA novels The Girl in the White Van; Girl, Stolen; The Night She Disappeared; The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die; The Girl I Used to Be, which was nominated for an Edgar Award and won the Anthony Award for Best YA Mystery; Count All Her Bones; The Lonely Dead; Run, Hide, Fight Back; and The Body in the Woods and Blood Will Tell, the first two books in the Point Last Seen series. She lives in Oregon.
Complicated fun and bizarre plot elements give a nicely humorous storyline for this witch-based story. Starting with initial paragraph where her mother transports into her living room with her luggage, a cat, and a brown envelope, and announces that she has just killed her husband – our narrator’s father!
Of course, this turns out not be as literal as it could have been.
Ma and Pa were 2 halves of a Magic Act – which of course was more magical than they let on. They had been together for many years touring and bringing baby along too – both were beautiful, glamourise and natural show business actors. They had a manager named Murray who did most of the actual child rearing for Serenissima (AKA Sandra) our narrator. Who much preferred to be living outside of the chaotic life of her parents.
And then Pa has a mid-life crisis and decides that Ma is getting too old for the act and he would prefer a younger partner. Which is of course the start of the shenanigans that occur, especially around the knives! And the ghosts and….
Fun and light with a show business element.
This was disappointing. I had read the previous books in the series but found this one just too difficult to read. It didn’t work for me from the starting chapter onwards. And in my opinion doesn’t work as a standalone novel as it relies too much on the previous books and the reader having knowledge from them.