Jun 7, 2016

Review: Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger

Before INK AND BONE I had never read a Lisa Unger book, so I was very excited when I was offered an advance copy from the publisher so of course, I jumped at the chance! I was not familiar with her work so I really didn't know what to expect. Before reading this new book, I read up on Lisa Unger a bit and was surprised to learn that on June 4 she released a novella called THE WHISPERING HOLLOWS containing three short stories featuring Eloise Montgomery, a major character in INK AND BONE. Another happy surprise was the presence of paranormal elements in this book. I suppose I was expecting a straight-forward suspense novel but I realized this book was going to be more than that. It made me even more excited to start reading.

INK AND BONE is a paranormal suspense thriller featuring Eloise Montgomery, "a reluctant" psychic medium and her nineteen year-old granddaughter, Finley, who shares more than a bloodline with Eloise. Though Finley has known for a long time that she sees things most people don't, it isn't until a year ago when she moved to The Hollows in upstate New York to live with her grandmother, that she begins exploring the 'gift' she was born with. Eloise serves as a gentle guide for Finley as she tests the power and limitations of those gifts.

It's been close to a year since eight year-old Abbey Gleason was taken while on a hike in The Hollows with her dad and older brother. All hope has been lost but Abbey's mother, Merri, can't let go or give up. She hires private detective Jones Cooper, from The Hollows, because he works with noted psychic medium Eloise Montgomery. Merri knows this is probably her last hope of finding her daughter, but it's not Eloise who is sensing things about the case. It's Finley's turn to follow the 'signs' wherever they may lead.

My Thoughts:
(Contains No Spoilers!)

This was a well thought out story that I was very impressed with. It's multi-layered with rich, interesting characters.  What I enjoy about Unger's writing style is the way she reveals impactful information along the way.  I like to call them 'nuggets' and this book has them littered throughout, which kept my attention and focus. It also made the pages fly by. There was also a big twist that totally caught me off guard!

She uses two main perspectives to tell the story - one from the parents of Abbey Gleason and the other is Finley's but there's also Eloise's point of view as well, though not as prevalent. It's interesting because it allows the reader to know exactly what each party is going through and where they are coming from.

The subject matter of the story is disturbing yet Unger doesn't get explicit with the violent acts of the perpetrator though she eludes to them more later in the book. Many writers would include details that might be hard to take, but Unger uses a lighter touch without softening the story at all. That is really good for readers who like these types of books but don't particularly care for a lot of violence.

The paranormal aspect took this book to another level and I really enjoyed it. It was definitely present without being too over the top weird. I liked that fact that Finley was just beginning to understand her abilities and that made it easier for me to accept. I felt this was a great element to the story and makes me really happy to have read INK AND BONE. I like the paranormal genre but I have a hard time finding books that I like and this one filled that void for me.

As a first time reader of Lisa Unger's work, I am thrilled to say I am now a fan!  I'll be looking into more of her books and hoping that Finley Montgomery will come back one day. There's a lot there to build on with these characters and the location. The Hollows was it's own character and it was fantastic. And don't forget, about the novella, THE WHISPERING HOLLOWS - it would make a great companion piece with this book.  I'd like to thank Courtney Brach at Touchstone and Simon & Schuster, Inc. for the opportunity to preview this novel. I'm sure it will be a big hit this summer.

Author: Lisa Unger (@lisaunger)
Publisher: Touchstone
Published: June 7, 2016
Printed Length: 352
Source: Publisher

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