There are intriguing subtleties in this paranormal tale but it definitely takes its time building to a compelling story. I enjoy this author’s style and have been a big fan of many of her other stories, but I am not as enthralled (yet) by this particular combination of characters as I have been by others. That being said, I enjoyed the gradual unfolding of a mystery that starts years before, which blindsides someone who has been secure in the love of her parents and her position in life. The contrast between what she’s known all her life and what is buried in her psyche is gradually revealed, just as the secrets that pervade Cainsville are being slowly exposed, much like the mysterious gargoyles that appear (and disappear). The shift between what is known and what is postulated adds to the mystery, especially as new wrenches are thrown into the mix, including deaths of those who could help explain some of the important details. The final revelations make one anxious to understand the implications of Olivia’s decision and do a great job of whetting one’s appetite for the next exciting chapter in what will undoubtedly be a memorable series.
“Omens” by Kelley Armstrong is the first novel in the ‘Cainsville’ series and introduces Olivia Taylor-Jones, cherished daughter of very wealthy parents, whose life suddenly becomes unrecognizable to her when secrets start being revealed. Abandoning the life she has known, she eventually ends up in the town of Cainsville, which seems to be populated by an odd combination of residents. Her propensity for identifying portents and ascribing sayings to certain situations seems to intensify as she goes on a hunt for the truth about a series of horrific crimes, sometimes aided by an opinionated and stubborn man, who may or may not want her to succeed in her investigations. The challenge is going to be to figure out what the truth is and who to trust, and her very life may depend on figuring out the correct answers.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong begins her new series with Omens, featuring a compelling new heroine thrust into a decades-old murder case and the dark mysteries surrounding her strange new home.
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.