Friday, February 4, 2011

Review: The Diviner's Tale by Bradford Morrow

Genre: Supernatural thriller 
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011

Cassandra Brooks is a single mother-of-two, schoolteacher and water diviner. Deep in the woods as she dowses the land for a property developer, she is confronted by the body of a young girl, swinging from a tree, hanged. When she returns with the authorities, the body has vanished. Already regarded as an eccentric, her story is disbelieved- until a girl turns up in the woods, alive, mute and identical to the girl in Cassandra's vision.

The Diviner's Tale will surprise you. While at first glance it appears to be a simple crime mystery which will be solved with some psychic help it actually has a great deal more to offer.

There is a mystery to be unravelled with twists and turns and spooky occurrences adding the necessary suspense but it takes second place to Cassandra's journey of self-discovery.

Cassandra does not regard her ability to fore vision as a gift . She sees it as a monster that haunts her and has caused much distress in her life, because it is closely connected to the memories of her brother who died and to other suppressed events that happened when she was a young girl. The book explores her past, her relationships with her family and her efforts to live as an 'ordinary person' but the premonitions she keeps having draw her ever closer to divining the truth about herself..........and the realisation there is a killer tracking her.

What lifts The Diviner's Tale above a run of the mill thriller is the quality of Bradford Morrow's descriptive prose . His imagery , particularly of nature, is rich, vivid and beautiful and weaves the separate threads of the story together superbly.
The book does move at a slower pace than many thrillers which may not appeal to some readers but I enjoyed it immensely and recommend.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for making this book available.

1 comment:

  1. I don't mind a slow-paced thrilled so this one sounds good to me.