Book review: Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger

Ink and Bone byLisa Unger

Ink and Bone byLisa Unger

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It’s almost a year since eight-year-old Abbey Gleason disappeared in woodland one sunny, summer afternoon, and the police inquiry has gone cold.

Only one young woman can help to solve the mystery… but is she willing to use the psychic powers that she knows are destroying her own life?

Welcome to back to The Hollows, a sinister little town in New York State where strange things happen to unsuspecting visitors, where the line between reality and the paranormal becomes blurred, and where death and tragedy are only ever a heartbeat away.

It’s easy to see why American author Lisa Unger has become the thriller queen of psychological suspense. With more than 1.7 million books sold in more than thirty countries, and a string of atmospheric, high-tension stories brimming with menace, mystery and spine-tingling supernatural, there is so much to savour.

And Unger is on top form in Ink and Bone, delivering a clever, complex story, an intriguing new heroine with a troubled past and present, and an atmosphere brimming with tension.

Twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery has always been different. She sees the world differently and has never been able to control the sights and sounds that haunt her everyday life – not even the pain of a new tattoo or the roar of her motorcycle can drown out the chaos.

Finley, bone thin and addicted to ‘ink,’ did not grow up in The Hollows in upstate New York but the rather creepy little place still has its tendrils firmly wrapped around her head. Her grandmother Eloise is the town’s psychic and Finley, who has inherited her gifts, is moving into her house in the hope of making a fresh start.

Every day is a battle for Finley to stay in her own body and her own life because she is haunted by the souls of the dead and, recently, a mysterious ‘squeak-clink’ noise that constantly invades her days and nights.

When local private investigator Jones Cooper turns up at the house, he tells Finley he knows about her psychic talents and wants her help. Abbey Gleason has been missing since her parents rented a cabin in the nearby woods last summer and her mother is desperate to unearth the truth.

But time is running out and Finley must first come to terms with the powers that she fears are wrecking her life. Can she find answers before it’s too late?

Unger’s haunting new mystery, packed with gut-wrenching emotion and small town drama, is a gripping page-turner. Mesmerising storytelling skills combined with a breathless race-against-time plot and dark, seductive paranormal overtones make this a thrilling reading journey for fans both new and old.

(Simon & Schuster, paperback, £7.99)