I didn't have a good feeling about this one when the pre-release stuff came out, because I loved all her previous work, this was a departure, and I hate change. I couldn't not read it, because that would be dumb, but when I started it I was even more unsure; I dislike alternating time lines and POVs almost as much as I dislike change.
Anyway, the one pivotal thing that didn't change is that this is a Simon St. James ghost story. So, I got up at 6 this morning, got the house keeping over with, then sat down with this book at 8, because I can't read St. James' books in anything but broad daylight. I love her ghost stories, but they scare me spitless.
The ghost doesn't have the same front-and-center starring role, but she made up for the lack of page time with quality creepiness. And the rest of the story... well. I don't want to give a lot away, which makes it hard to say the things I really want to say. Therefore, I'm just gong to bullet point a few things that feel important:
- Like her previous books, there's a war connection. The best one yet (imo);
- There's a murder mystery;
- The author does not take the reader down the expected paths.
There are two plots in this book, tied together by a common place, but they remain distinct and they are both devastating. Utterly. St. James pulls no punches. In my opinion, this is what fantastic fiction is all about - I was utterly captivated, entertained, and at the end, left with much to think over. This is a book about the power of the families we choose, when the ones we are born to betray us.
Outstanding. Just don't read it in the dark.