Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Review: "The Truth of All Things" by Kieran Shield

The Truth of All Things review
Author: Kieran Shields
5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure: I received a complimentary galley of this book from the Vine program in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Two hundred years after the Salem witch trials, in the summer of 1892, a grisly new witch hunt is beginning...

When newly appointed Deputy Marshal Archie Lean is called in to investigate a prostitute's murder in Portland, Maine, he's surprised to find the body laid out like a pentagram and pinned to the earth with a pitchfork.  He's even more surprised to learn that this death by "sticking" is a traditional method of killing a witch.

Baffled by the ritualized murder scene, Lean secretly enlists the help of historian Helen Prescott and brilliant criminalist Perceval Grey.  Distrusted by officials because of his mixed Abenaki Indian ancestry, Grey is even more notorious for combining modern investigative techniques with an almost eerie perceptiveness.  Although skeptical of each other's methods, together the detectives pursue the killer's trail through postmortems and opium dens, into the spiritualist societies and lunatic asylums of gothic New England.

Before the killer closes in on his final victim, Lean and Grey must decipher the secret pattern to these murders--a pattern hidden within the dark history of the Salem witch trials.

My Thoughts: A fascinating blend of historical thriller and paranormal thriller. I really enjoyed the writing style, and the back-and-forth quips passed among Lean, Grey and Stieg. Helen was a great character, a very strong and independent woman determined to do what she wanted during a time when women were coddled and kept like they were made from eggshells. Shields did a great job of keeping the murderer a secret from the reader, throwing out hints and clues, but never the answer. I quite enjoyed the story overall, and I think fans of historical fiction and occult thrillers will find this one of interest; although there is never a real answer as to any potential occult activity. The book is left open for a sequel, so hopefully we’ll see another book with these great characters.

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