14 June 2016

Today's Read: Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger

Review: Ink and Bone by Lisa UngerImagine 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)

Quick Facts
  • 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.


Eustacia Tan 6/14/16, 6:31 AM  

Well, at least her dad loves her, even if he is rather distracted.

My teaser is from The Tank Man's Son, where the father is basically the opposite.

nishitak 6/14/16, 6:40 AM  

That's a nice teaser. The book premise also sounds pretty good. Adding it to my TBR list.

Karen and Gerard 6/14/16, 6:57 AM  

Sounds interesting, I usually like Lisa Unger's books.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 6/14/16, 7:11 AM  

I like the intro and an looking forward to this one as well.

The Candid Cover 6/14/16, 7:13 AM  

I love a great thriller and this book has lured me in already! I am wanting to know more about how she was kidnapped. If the rest of the story is written as beautifully as your teaser, I think that this will be one that I might enjoy. Definitely one to add to my TBR. Happy reading!

Here is my My TT

Daryl 6/14/16, 8:45 AM  

sounds good ... thanks ... i think i will check Ms Unger's other books out as well

bermudaonion 6/14/16, 8:52 AM  

I keep hearing great things about this book. I need to pick it up!

Kathy Martin 6/14/16, 10:04 AM  

I've seen this book around a lot lately. Now I really want to read it. My YA teaser this week comes from review book The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele. Happy reading!

Laurel-Rain Snow 6/14/16, 10:57 AM  

I recently read and loved this book, and have enjoyed several other books by the author, set in The Hollows, a place I wouldn't want to go alone. Very creepy!

Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “DEATH AT BREAKFAST”

JLS Hall 6/14/16, 11:15 AM  

Excellent teaser! I've been considering this one -- never read anything by Lisa Unger, and this looks like a good one to start with. Thanks for sharing.

Here's my teaser from a vintage Sharyn McCrumb mystery

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours 6/14/16, 11:20 AM  

I probably would not read it, but this is a great teaser, and I really enjoy your categories, great for quick review ideas

Margot 6/14/16, 11:26 AM  

I like the little girls's voice in the opening paragraph. I'd read on but I sense this might be a bit too woo-woo for me.

Literary Feline 6/14/16, 1:18 PM  

That quote made me think of my husband and daughter. He's always got his earbuds or is on his phone. Sometimes even I have to say his name "one hundred times" before he'll hear me. Ugh.

Anyhow, this sounds like a really good book. I always say I don't like to read books involving child kidnapping, and yet I seem to read them anyway . . .

Anonymous,  6/14/16, 3:19 PM  

Sounds like a very intriguing read.

JoAnn 6/14/16, 3:53 PM  

I've never read Lisa Unger, but would like to.

Kailana 6/14/16, 11:04 PM  

This is making the rounds. I am pretty sure other books by her have, too, but I have never read her myself. One day!

Unknown 6/15/16, 1:44 AM  

I don't know if I'd keep reading. I probably would because of the storyline.

Unknown 6/27/16, 2:15 PM  

I'll be reading this one. Lisa Unger is one of my favorite authors in psychological thrillers.

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