Series: Cainsville #2
Published by Dutton on August 19, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
My Reviews in this series: Omens, Deceptions
*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
As #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s new Cainsville series continues, Olivia’s power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her new hometown.
Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.
Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.
Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?
Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.
When you start seeing dead bodies everywhere
In Visions, I wouldn’t blame Liv if she started thinking she was going a bit batshit kookoo. Because not only is she seeing omens but she’s seeing the dead body (and body bits) of a young girl dressed to look like her. Luckily she really isn’t going crazy and the mystery of this dead girl is the one that Liv is out to solve in this plotline. It’s a bit of a deviation of where I thought this next book was going to go. I had assumed since the first book, Omens, centered around Liv researching the murders that her birth parents were convicted of, that subsequent books would continue on with her investigating more of those murdered couples. I’m sure that will be the case in forthcoming books but in Visions a local girl to Cainsville has disappeared and also happens to be the girl Liv keeps seeing dead. So her and Gabriel team up once again to solve a murder – in a very round about way.
The push-me, pull-you (5 points if you recognize the movie reference)
Liv and Gabriel have quite the interesting friendship. I shy away from using the word relationship because then folks might immediately think romance between them, when that isn’t the case (at least not yet or anytime soon I’m thinking). Especially considering Liv gets very hot and heavy with another character in this novel that isn’t Gabriel. Anyways back to them – what they have is most definitely a newly budding friendship and Gabriel is not used to having any kind of friendship or relationship with anyone because he’s a very closed off individual due to his upbringing and traumatizing experiences in his childhood and teen years. I’m happy to say we learn much more about Gabriel in this novel and why he is the way he is. So Gabriel has a tendency to run cold and then sometimes lukewarm, very rarely ever hot. He has a vice grip on his emotions and behavior like you wouldn’t believe. Unfortunately, because he likes to keep everyone at a distance he partly does this by treating everyone like a mark he can use to his advatange. Previously in Omens he did that once with Liv and promised to never do it again. So you can imagine what happens when it comes out that he’s done it in Visions.
Spicing things up one more notch
As I mentioned already Liv gets a bit hot and heavy with someone in this book and I don’t just mean once, I mean that you meet a new guy and all the two of you do during that buddy relationship period is bow chicka wow wow. Even I was surprised by the number, frequency and detail to which we see these encounters. So be prepared for some bumping and grinding, fair warning.
The Round a bout
So I mentioned that Liv investigates a murder but that it’s done in a rather round about way. While I do think that is the central part of the storyline in Visions, I didn’t feel like there was a very strong focal point this time around. It was more like “days in the life of Liv Taylor-Jones, and the murder mystery solving just sort of happens along the way, in conjunction with more mysteries revealed about the townm, its elders, Gabriel, a certain biker gang, etc cetera. It winds up being that the story flits from subject to subject like daily life. This style didn’t bother me at all but I could see how a lack of a tight central focus might not appeal to some readers. Overall I think Visions was a great addition to the Cainsville series and I eagerly look forward to more.