I started to read Omens from Kelley Armstrong with the intention of writing a book review. But something happened by chapter three: the story sucked me in and I turned the pages, sprawled on the sofa, sitting at my desk to make it look like I was working, and when my iPad ran out of battery, I continued to read on my iPhone, at red lights and at the doctor’s office, until there were no more pages to turn.
Need I say I recommend the novel?
My conundrum this morning is to say something more than go get the book, it’s really good. Because I forgot to highlight my favorite lines or plot turns or character description. So bear with me while I muddled through the whys I loved this book so much.
THE STARTING POINT
Olivia Taylor-Jones is a socialite, the daughter of Lena Taylor, Chicago’s prominent philanthropist, and of Arthur Jones, owner of Mills & Jones departments stores. She’s in her mid-twenties, engaged to James Morgan, a CEO tech company and son of a former senator. She volunteers at a shelter, and leads a perfect life. Until her mother calls her urgently one night and reveals Olivia has been adopted.
The adoption ploy might sound cliché but have no fear, Kelley Armstrong doesn’t do clichés. Not only was Olivia adopted and she never knew it, but her biological parents are in prison for life. They are the notorious serial killers, Pamela and Todd Larsen. They killed eight couples, usually on Friday nights. Friday must have been date night.
To escalate the traumatic reveal, journalists, paparazzi and crime bloggers are camped outside Olivia’s mother’s house.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO CAINSVILLE
Olivia decides to leave her life behind for now. She tries to stay in Chicago but her face is on the news, she refuses to take money from her mother and her fiancé is backpedaling on their relationship. All her life, she’s been superstitious, and she has a serious case of intuition which leads her to Cainsville, barely an hour outside of Chicago.
Cainsville is welcoming, kinda. Safe, despite the gargoyles sitting on every building, the ravens flying overhead and the black cat who adopts Olivia.
There’s the diner where Olivia finds work, with the older generation as patrons and the writer who types all day long fueling on coffee. Across from her new lodging, there’s the psychic who watches like a hawk. And of course there’s Olivia’s grumpy landlady, who can become just a tad sweeter if fed orange and cranberry scones from the diner.
Olivia meets Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer from Chicago, ambulance chaser, money oriented, private, and nephew of the psychic. With his help, Olivia decides to find out more about her biological parents. If only the omens were in her favor.
NEW SERIES FOR KELLEY ARMSTRONG
It’s a new series for K. Armstrong, having ended her Women of the Otherworld series with Thirteen. I was sad to see that one end, I believed there was still so much to discover about that world. But Ms. Armstrong’s new Cainsville series has made me forget my longing of the Otherworld, instead making me long to know more about Cainsville and the stories it’s hiding.
So if you’re looking for a can’t-put-it-down new novel, head out there and get Omens at all your usual retailers. And if you see one crow in your window, it’s not that bad. But two, or three…