Series: Cainsville #1
Narrator: Carine Montbertrand, Mozhan Marno
Published by Penguin Audio on August 20, 2013
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal
Length: 14 hours, 40 minutes
Audio | Goodreads
Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.
But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.
Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.
Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.
This story started off really interesting when Olivia Taylor Jones learns at the age of 24 that she was adopted. Her biological parents are notorious serial killers who’ve been in prison the last twenty years. Olivia’s world falls apart as she struggles with her new identity and new ” gifts” begin to emerge.
After a strong start, the story just settled into a rather dull, convoluted journey as Olivia tries to determine whether her parents were actually guilty of the last murders that got them convicted. She’s working with her mother’s former attorney, Gabriel Walsh, who is quite an enigma. Still not sure what to make of him.
I’m also not sure what this book wanted to be. At times there were paranormal and mythical elements in play and at others, just ordinary sets of events that just didn’t really lead anywhere relevant. I never really connected with either Olivia or Gabriel but did find the mysterious town of Cainesville intriguing and wished more attention had been devoted to that angle. Olivia’s decisions regarding her fiancé and adopted family just defied credulity so I never really bought into the direction her life took once she learned of her true parentage.
Two narrators were used here, one for Olivia’s point of view and the other for everyone else. It was helpful in recognizing whenever there was a change of voice.
The resolution of the murders was also a bit of a stretch. I’m not sure where this story goes from here but I think I’m calling it quits. This just wasn’t my cuppa.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: