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One of Us Paperback – April 7, 2015
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Forensic psychologist Dr. Sheridan Doyle returns to his creepy hometown of Lost Creek, Pennsylvania. The gritty former coal town is best known as the site of a famous gallows, where a band of miners were publicly executed in the 1800s. Doyle has a lot of reasons to stay away—his father was abusive, his mother was convicted of killing his baby sister—but his beloved grandfather is ill and wants to see him. When Doyle arrives in Lost Creek, he begins to feel claustrophobic and decides to clear his head with a run. He ends up at the gallows, where he stumbles across a dead body. Black sheep Scarlet Dawes left town in disgrace but returns at the same time as Doyle. She holds many secrets (her family owned the mines and was responsible for the hangings), and she may know something about the dead body . . . and about the other recent murders in town. Twists and turns and family secrets abound in this tightly plotted thriller. --Rebecca Vnuk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Twists and turns and family secrets abound in this tightly plotted thriller.” (Booklist)
“Personal demons, childhood traumas and class warfare add up to a gritty tale of vengeance.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“A well-written psychological thriller that will appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn and Daniel Woodrell. ” (Library Journal)
“An evocative novel about murder and intrigue in a small mining town . . . compulsively readable.” (Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of ORPHAN TRAIN)
“A fearless exploration of the line between mental illness and true evil, a place many thriller writers visit but without the kind of fearless insights O’Dell reveals in this powerful novel.” (The New York Times Book Review)
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Had I read this book BEFORE I read all of Tawni O'Dell's other books, maybe I would have liked it better. But then, if I had read this book BEFORE I read Ms. O'Dell's other books, I probably would not have read her other books. I LOVE Tawni O'Dell and her many talents, but for me, this book was a disappointment and fell flat.
Based in a mining town in Pennsylvania, Danny Doyle returns home. Immediately upon his return, a dead body is found, foul play is suspected or perhaps ghosts are responsible for this untimely death. Another person has also returned to their former home town, and now all hell is erupting, secrets that have been kept for years are exposed, truths are told.
What I liked about the book was the story line and the two main characters, Danny Doyle and Scarlett Dawes. Scarlett is one of the best characters ever created; I loved how she thought and her cold and cruel streak. She was the highlight of the book. Some of the secondary characters -- Rafe and Tommy -- were also great and very believable.
What I didn't like about the book was the secondary story line regarding the history of the Nellie O'Neills who were a group of men executed in the 1800's. The gallows were still up in town and were supposedly haunted. This story line -- for some odd reason -- drove me absolutely crazy while reading about it. It seemed so lame. Then, it hit me -- I recalled and looked up the MOLLY MAGUIRES which was a true secret society in Ireland who came to America in the 1870's and basically had the same history and story as the fictional Neillie O'Neills in this book. So, this was based on true facts and history which is fine -- however -- I found the story line and supposed haunting regarding the Nellies just boring.
I feel badly about not caring for this book; it was just OK as a three star review indicates. I believe the book would have read better if it had just centered around characters returning to their former homes and going that route. This book seemed to read like a bad seventh grade history assignment report.
If you want to read EXCELLENT, WONDERFUL, CANNOT PUT DOWN books by Tawni O'Dell read:
BACK ROADS [what a FANTASTIC book!]
COAL RUN [another winner!]
SISTER MINE [wonderful!]
FRAGILE BEASTS [one of the best]
ONE OF US left me feeling disappointed and let down. I am in the minority; others seemed to really enjoy this book and one of those people could be you. I just couldn't get past the Nellies and even some relative comparisons to SCOOBY DOO characters. Just, um, different and not up to Ms. O'Dell's usual top-notch writing.
When Danny returns to his hometown of Lost Creek, Pennsylvania, to help take care of his aging grandfather, he stumbles upon a dead body at the gallows, the famous landmark where a group of rebellious Irish miners was executed many years ago. He joins forces with his old detective friend, Rafe, to help solve the murder. But is the illustrious doctor prepared for what he soon discovers?
I was enjoying Danny’s story quite a bit when the author introduced a new first-person character in Chapter Eight. Maybe if I’d met Scarlett sooner, I would have appreciated her character more. Then again, she’s a psychopath, so probably not. Scarlett is a murderer, a cold-blooded killer who annihilates anyone who gets in her way. Not only do we see her in the act, she tells us about her past crimes, the first one committed when she was the tender age of ten.
One of Us lacks suspense. The reader is aware of events as they happen, which leaves nothing to the imagination. There is no chase. There is concern for who will be the next victim. There is no mystery. The pace slowed for me about halfway through and I considered abandonment. But I stuck with it out of curiosity and compassion for Danny. His character is the element in this novel that works. I would be writing an entirely different review if the author had shown Scarlett’s character through Danny’s eyes.
Danny and Scarlett have many things in common. Some I can tell you about, others I cannot. The most obvious is their obsession with clothing. You’ve heard me say it before. Less is more, especially in terms of description. Simple references to an Armani Suit and a full-length black mink coat would’ve painted the picture. I found the constant reference to designer labels in poor taste.
Aside from my other grievances, I thought this author does a great job of portraying the hopelessness of the townsfolk. We get a real sense of how these families have struggled to survive the hardships of the mining industry for generations.\
For more of my reviews, [.....]
Most recent customer reviews
Keeps you in suspense. Should read