Series: Cainsville, #1
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong begins her new series with Omens, featuring a compelling new heroine thrust into a decades-old murder case and the dark mysteries surrounding her strange new home.
Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.
But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.
Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.
Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.
This book was a very unexpected read for me. I had read Kelley’s books in the past and had completely expected a book full of paranormal creatures and fantastical elements. I was surprised to find out that this book is more contemporary mystery with just a few fantastical elements thrown in, rather than a full-blown paranormal book. And no romance! Still, the verdict when I finished was that this is a very exciting new series and I’m very eager to read more!
I was lucky enough to attend a reading by Kelley (a few actually!) last year where she read an excerpt from this book. I loved the fact that the main character is the daughter of serial killers — does she have it in her own blood to kill? Are her parents actually serial killers or were they framed? Right from the start, I was hooked, falling in love with the main character who definitely isn’t a soft little thing, but a strong woman who is fully capable of taking care of herself. Of course, having someone like Gabriel in the story worked well, too — sure, he wasn’t a romantic lead, but I still loved having his presence in the story. Him and Olivia just worked together! I’m really curious to see where their story goes in the next book.
There’s also the way the story was told. I was a little confused at first after reading Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc. only to come to a chapter with a name. These are interspersed throughout the novel and told from the perspective of other people in the story — Gabriel, his aunt, other townsfolk, etc. They worked really well and it was nice to see the perspective of others. These chapters helped add to the mystery of Cainsville and made me want to delve deeper into the story.
Really, this story is quite different from anything of Kelley’s that I’ve read. Like I said, there’s the mystery going on, but there’s also something beyond the mystery. I can’t say it’s a full-blown contemporary mystery because it really isn’t. There’s something sinister, something paranormal, going on in the background that we only got glimpses of in this book. I can’t wait to see what they come to be in future instalments!