Chapter One introduces single father Odinn, whose ex-wife has recently died. Odinn struggles with the responsibilities of being more than a weekend father and seeks ways to help his daughter with her grief.
When a colleague dies unexpectedly, Odinn finally gets an interesting assignment investigating possible abuse at a home for young offenders. The plot moves back and forth from the present to the past.
The past segments allow us to see the home and the inhabitants through the eyes of Aldis, a young woman who does the cleaning. In the present, Odinn attempts to balance a series of problems--interviewing individuals who were at the home during the 1974 incident, new information that makes him curious about his ex-wife's death, and his concerns about his daughter.
Definitely some surprises, especially in the conclusion. It is so tempting to put the spoiler here, but it would change the way the reader approaches the novel.
Icelandic writer Yrsa Sigurdardottir's The Undesired is a standalone and not part of her Thora Gudmundsdottir series.
This new cover beats the previous two options by a long shot.
NetGalley/St. Martin's Press
Psychological Suspense. 2012; 2017 (translation). Print length: 362 pages.
Catching Echoes: Reconstructionist Series Book 1 by Meghan Ciana Doidge has murder, witches, and vampires.
I liked the first of this one quite a lot and was hoping for a fun paranormal romp.
Unfortunately, the charm of the first portion of the book began to dissipate in the middle, and I was not at all impressed with the conclusion.
I liked Wisteria in her reconstructionist role, but the frequent references to a hidden magical power that others seem to recognize and leave Wisteria puzzle--feel contrived. The creepy attraction between witch and vampire is a given. Much of the middle felt like filler, and it isn't a particularly long book, so that's a lot of filler. The conclusion was disappointing.
Doidge has a dedicated fan base who love her books, but if I want a good paranormal YA book, I turn to Maggie Steifvater or Kelley Armstrong. I do enjoy a little paranormal mischief every once in a while, but this series may not be a good fit for me.
NetGalley/Old Man in the Crosswalk Productions
Paranormal/Crime. Dec. 2016. Print length: 234 pages.