Himself by Jess Kidd
A crime novel that reads like a spooky fairytale... with one of the most unforgettable characters that I've read in a long time. A village with many dark secrets... lurking just around the corner make for luscious storytelling.
Going into this book, I got extremely startled by the intensity and graphic violence of the prologue, where we witness a scene of death that is a leading force in this "investigation." After that cold splash of water woke me up, I was again surprised by our MC, Mahoney's "magical" ability in the supernatural world. Every chapter, long or short, kept on adding layers to the mystery that aired in this quaint village in Ireland (aka Mulderrig)
This book was darkly atmospheric, with the unknown woods as the main setting where things went down. It has a very whimsical and charming feeling in some parts, yet there is always a dark corner of the world lurking beneath the surface. Kidd really knows how to reel you into this Grimms-like fairytale but that doesn't make it seem completely unreal, more like a bonkers dream that you have when you're asleep.
By all means my favorite character was the "grandmotherly" figure in this story, or the guiding hand shall I say, Mrs.Cauley. She was a comical relief that was sorely needed, and lived in a room with books literally stocked with piles of books from the floor to the ceiling, so that it was hard to get to her bed. She's fierce and determined investigator that absolutely won't give up until the truth is revealed.
My only complaint was that the "bad villainous" characters seemed like a stereotypical mold/character type that didn't strike me as well-developed enough. The "good" people were well-developed, in a way that felt like they could be my neighbor. Other than that, this debut is a dazzling original with refreshing lyrical, poetic, and touching prose that will stay with me for a long time.
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with arc in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**
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