Monday, February 27, 2017

Review of "Ink and Bone" by Lisa Unger

Ten months after her daughter Abbey was abducted during a vacation in 'The Hollows,' Merri Gleason returns to the upstate New York town. Desperate to find out what happened to her daughter, Merri hires cop turned private investigator Jones Cooper - who usually works with psychic Eloise Montgomery. This time, however, Eloise's gifted granddaughter Finley is getting paranormal 'messages' about the case.

Finley recently moved to The Hollows to be close to her supportive grandmother and to get away from her difficult mom and unfaithful beau. However Finley's cheating boyfriend Rainer followed her to town, hoping to redeem himself. Nevertheless Finley concentrates on her college classes and keeps Rainer at a distance - aside from going to his tattoo parlor to get inked.

As the story unfolds there are flashbacks to the Gleason family before and after the kidnapping. We learn that Merri's husband Wolf was having an affair that affected his judgment and behavior. The flashbacks alternate with what's going on in the present, including Cooper's investigation; Finley's psychic experiences; and accounts of a girl called Penny, who's being held prisoner by a hillbilly family.

During his inquiries Cooper discovers that, over the years, several girls have disappeared from The Hollows. WE learn that all these girls had some psychic abilities. And that's about all I can say without spoilers.

For me this isn't one of Lisa Unger's best books. The Penny parts are disturbing and slow down the story too much; the police investigations (prior to Cooper being hired) are inept; Merri and Finley are too 'understanding' of their cheating men - who should be cut loose immediately and forever; and the hillbilly people are more like caricatures than real humans. Moreover, the story's ending isn't quite satisfying.

Though I'm not a big fan of this book I'd probably read other stories by Unger.

Rating: 2.5 stars

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