Tuesday, June 7, 2016

ARC Review: Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger

Pub. Date:June 7, 2016
Length:352 Pages

It's been a while since I have read any straight thrillers, so I was looking forward to trying out Lisa Unger, who I have heard of but had not yet read. Somewhere in the Northeast, there is a place called The Hollows that has a grip on its residents. The small population of just under 10,000 has various psychics, mediums, empaths, and other intuitive types in its ranks. Even those who have moved away, or have taken their families away, find either themselves or their descendants getting called back to the strange locale.

The small town has a dark side. Children are going missing, specifically bright blonde little girls are getting snatched from their families and are never heard from again. Law enforcement has found no trace despite exhaustive searches and the cases have become cold. Desperate with grief but not giving up hope, the mother of the last girl snatched hires Jones Cooper, a private investigator who works with a renowned psychic. Only the usual psychic, Eloise, is at an advanced age and in frail health. So its time to pass the responsibility to her granddaughter, pink-haired tattooed Finley Montgomery.

Finley was an interesting heroine. She struggled growing up with psychic abilities and a parent who wanted to deny them instead of support her daughter. This has caused Finley to act out and now, as a young adult, she is prone to destructive and sometimes dangerous behavior. Finley has tattooed her body with images from the dreams she sees, because she wants her outside to match her inside. She was partying and using drugs, and dating a bad boy. It wasn't until Finley left Seattle and moved in with her grandmother Eloise that she felt understood and was able to start putting her life together. I liked Finley and her abilities were fascinating. I didn't always understand the conflict she was feeling... but I liked that her tattoo addiction was part of her coping mechanism. And I really liked her boyfriend, Rainer. Even though he was one of the problems from Seattle... I felt like he was genuine and supportive of Finley.

This book was told from multiple alternating points of view... so we  got the story at times from Wolf and Merri, parents of one of the missing girls. Merri was a desperate mother, refusing to give up on her daughter and suffering through a bad marriage. Wolf was pretty much a douchebag. He had never been faithful to his wife over their fifteen year marriage, and he was on the phone with his mistress when his daughter was taken. While I felt bad for Merri, I had zero sympathy for her husband. Their marriage issues cast a depressing pall over the book that was separate from the missing girls aspect.

I was expecting this book to be more of a page-turner based on the blurb... but it seemed rather slow-paced to me. I would almost classify it as more of a mystery-detective novel than a thriller or horror story. I enjoyed the mystery and paranormal bits though, I just wish the story would have more action to make the pace a little faster.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Touchstone via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars / 1 flame.