Reviewed by: Jennifer Chretien, Reference Librarian
Rating: 5 stars
Twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery is a college student living with her grandmother in The Hollows, a small town in Upstate New York. She moved there from Seattle in order to find herself and figure out how to live with the gifts she had been born with. Finley, like her grandmother, can’t ever seem to escape the voices and images of the dead. Grandma Eloise, is a renowned local psychic working with a private investigator to solve the unsolvable crimes. Eloise is Finley’s best chance at learning how to utilize her gifts without losing control of her life.
Merri Gleason is a woman perpetually on the precipice of a nervous breakdown since her daughter went missing in The Hollows the previous year. Her desperation and refusal to find closure has alienated her family but she still needs to try once more to find her daughter. She returns to The Hollows, where she hires P.I. Jones Cooper, and from there her path is entwined with Finley's.
On the surface this is a predictable plot: Girl goes missing, young woman is trying to find herself, young woman works with a seasoned investigator on a cold case, crime is solved. The Hollows is so much more than the standard detective novel. Lisa Unger has an incredible talent for creating characters that are interesting and realistic. These characters are damaged in a way that is believable and sympathetic. Finley is so well crafted that I can see the tattoos on her body and her anguish as she tries to come to grips with her inevitable fate. Other books suffer the fate of secondary characters fading into the background; not in this book, each character is given the same consideration as Finley. What results is the reader is quickly attached to the community as a whole.
I finished this book in a 4-hour binge that left me reeling with a “book hangover”. It is an incredibly rare occasion for me to be so engrossed in a book that I feel as though I crash landed back into reality when it's over like I did with Ink and Bone. Each plot twist and turn left me eagerly turning the page to find out what is meeting me on the other side. Unger has a gift for engaging the reader and taking them through an intense full throttle thrill ride while throwing twists and turns in without slowing down. Part horror, part thriller, Ink and Bone is an immensely satisfying book for anyone that loves a dark page turner. If you are a fan of Gillian Flynn, Tana French, or Joe Hill you are going to love this. This is my first Lisa Unger experience and I am going to rush out and read more of her work!
Keep an eye out because Ink and Bone is coming soon to the Killingly collection!