Pros: Great setting and characters
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Lisa Unger’s Ink and Bone is a fantastic paranormal thriller tale. Finley, a woman who likes tattoos and fast motorcycles has a gift: she can perceive and speak with the dead, and she has powerful hunches and dreams. She’s been hearing an odd repeating squeaking noise, just as her grandmother, Eloise, does–although it’s clear to Eloise that this particular situation requires Finley’s aid and not hers. Finley would rather that the noises and voices went away, but at the same time she feels obligated to do something to help. Jones is a private detective who, with Eloise, has helped out on many cases. This time he’s going to be helping Finley. There’s a girl named Abbey who went missing in The Hollows. The police have given up, but Finley feels there’s more to be done.
All of the characters have depth and I found them all worth following and listening to. Finley’s struggling to keep her abilities from overwhelming the rest of her life, while also trying to figure how how she can use them to help people. Eloise is trying to walk a line between not giving Finley enough help, and giving her too much–Finley needs to find her own way to use her powers. Jones, that private detective, has very little screen time and yet I felt as though I knew him. The author spends some time describing how Finley’s loud, fast motorcycle helps to quiet the voices, as well as how her tattoos help to ground her. The explanations were poetic, brief, and beautiful. I had no trouble investing in the characters, including some of the ghosts. One of my favorite parts of the book is an explanation of how the living can haunt the dead, rather than the other way around.
At first I felt a little confused by the bad guys calling the girl they kidnapped Penny since we’re looking for Abbey–but then it became clear that every girl they kidnapped became ‘Penny’. They also share some other similarities, but I’ll leave that for you to discover. Penny’s situation wasn’t nearly as simple as in most thrillers, and that was fantastic. I shed a tear or two over her.
The Hollows–the town all this happens in–has its own agenda, and I want to read more of Unger’s books to find out more about this and see where it’s going.
The pacing was spot-on, with a great buildup, several plot threads going on, and a fascinating main storyline. I loved the setting as well, and just… well, pretty much everything. I’m already hunting down other Lisa Unger books to read!
Book provided free by publisher for review
Expected publication date: June 7, 2016