that you had psychic abilities. What would your responsibilities be—to
the dead, to the living, and to yourself? Finley Montgomery is aware
that her grandmother has helped solved crimes, can she do the same?
Daddy was on the phone talking soft and low, dropping behind them on the path. Nothing new. He was always on the phone—or on the computer. Penny knew that her daddy loved her, but she also knew that he was almost never paying attention. He was "busy, sweetie," or "with a client," or "just a minute honey, Daddy's talking to someone." He was a good storyteller, a bear-hugger, always opened his arms to her, lifted her high, or took her into his lap while he worked at his desk. Mommy couldn't lift her anymore, but Daddy still could. She loved the feel of him, the smell of him. He was never angry, always funny, but sometimes she had to say his name like one hundred times before he heard her, even when she was right next to him.—Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger (Touchstone, 2016, p. 1; Prologue)
- Setting: modern times, the Hollows (a town in the Catskills, New York)
- Circumstances: A young girl is kidnapped while on vacation
with her family. Although it's been a little more than a year, the
girl's mother, Merri, is back in the Hollows after hiring a local PI,
Jones Cooper, to try one more time to find her Abbey. Cooper turns to
Eloise, a psychic whom he's worked with on other cases, but discovers
that her granddaughter Finley is the one who seems to have made a
connection with spirits who can help them locate the missing child. Can
Cooper and Finely figure out what happened to Abbey?
- Genre, style: thriller / mystery with paranormal elements told from alternating points of view
- Themes: family; marriage; responsibility to oneself and one's community; how to live with psychic abilities
- Characters: Finley Montgomery, a college student with psychic abilities; Eloisa, her grandmother, with whom Finley lives; Rainer, Finley's tattoo artist boyfriend; Abbey Gleason, the missing girl; Merri, Wolf, and Jackson Gleason, Abbey's family; Jones Cooper, ex-policeman, now PI; various people from the Hollows; people whom Abbey meets; the Gleasons' friends and family in Manhattan; other missing people and children
- Things I liked: The slow build up of the tension and the underlying creep factor. Finley's struggle with her psychic abilities: how to control her visions and how to interpret them, when to trust herself and when to listen to her grandmother and Cooper. The chapters told from the missing girl's point of view had a youthful feel and made me shudder.
- Things I didn't like: Some parts of the Gleasons' personal and family life were distracting. I liked getting to know Abbey's family, but I was more interested in Finley, the Hollows, and the case.
- Something to know: Although Unger has set other novels in the Hollows (what a creepy place!), Ink and Bone can be read as a stand-alone with no problem.
- Recommendations: I generally liked the book a lot, even though parts of the story veered off from the main plot. It's a quick read with decent tension, a few surprises, and a creepy feel. Some of the chapters told from Abbey's point of view were initially confusing, but all made sense in the end. This psychological thriller with a paranormal bent and good characters is a great choice for an afternoon at the pool.
- Notes on the audiobook: I listened to the unabridged audiobook (Simon & Schuster Audio; 11 hr, 49 min), read by Molly Pope. I think this was my first time with Pope, and I enjoyed her performance. The narration was expressive, and Pope did a particularly good job capturing Abbey's voice and distinguishing among the characters. There were times when she came close to too dramatic for my tastes, but she never crossed the line. I can recommend the audio, and I liked Pope enough to see what else she's narrated. I bet she'd be great reading middle grade or YA.