5 stars out of 5
Creepy. Haunting. Tense. It took just two days of spare-time reading to finish this book, and on the second, anyone who even thought about prying my Kindle out of my hands would have regretted it. My sweet husband, bless his heart, knows better than to try - even though it meant he had to fetch take-out for dinner.
Ironically, I almost didn't read it at all. When I had a chance to get it from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an unbiased review, I of course read the description and editorial reviews. Twisty psychological suspense? Check. Prophetic dreams? Maybe. Supernatural? You've got to be kidding. In the end, though, my sense of nothing ventured, nothing gained won out. And within the first couple of chapters, the author won me over.
On the surface, this is a story about Abbey, a tattoo-covered young girl who has been missing for 10 months, and Finley Montgomery, a 20-year-old who "sees" and "feels" people and things no one else does - with the exception of her grandmother Eloise. The grandmother, in fact, is a well-known psychic in The Hollows, a secluded New York community. Finley is staying with Eloise over the objections of her mother, who wants nothing to do with the town in which she once lived and even less with her mother, Eloise, whom she fears might encourage Finley to explore their shared "gift."
Abbey was taken while her parents and younger brother were vacationing in The Hollows. Her father took the kids on a hike in the woods, where both he and his son were shot. Alive but unable to move, they watched as a man dragged a screaming Abbey away. Understandably, the incident tore the family apart and traumatized the young boy. In desperation, Abbey's mother Merri decides to return to the scene of the abduction and hires a local detective, who happens to work occasionally with Eloise, in hopes of finding her daughter.
If that were all there were to it, I suppose the story could be told in a handful of chapters. And certainly, there are plenty of thrills and chills as details of what really happened are revealed. But the real intrigue lies in the complexity of the characters - and it is here that the writing really shines. Chapter by chapter, layers are peeled back and we see the good, the bad and the downright ugly as well as everyone's "connections" to the living, the dead and the...well, just read the book.
Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger (Touchstone, June 2016); 352 pp.