The Half Killed by Quenby Olson
Warning: Mentions suicide
The Half Killed by Quenby Olson is the story of Dorothea Hawes, a troubled English woman that can hear and sometimes see spirits. Made to perform as a child and then later on in life out of necessity, she quit after a failed suicide attempt and is barely surviving and still tormented by spirits.
She’s contacted by a Mr. Chissick a former Pastor, who needs her help to solve a murdered woman’s mystery. The ensuing discoveries lead to startling revelations about both of their lives, and Dorothea is forced to face the monster that is tied to her own sad past.
Even after reading this book, I’m a bit torn. I loved the writing. The author used present tense, which I usually can’t read, but did such a phenomenal job that it never bothered me. Also, her writing is beautiful, reminding me of Austen’s style. Quenby Olson paints a vivid picture with her words and descriptions, that I felt like I was in London, although I’ve never been. And it was an interesting view of London, one that I enjoyed. It wasn’t all ballgowns, dashing Dukes and the ton. No, this was a grittier, filthy version of London with real people ekeing out a living. Sissy was a fantastic symbol of the lower class and probably one of my favorite characters. She was certainly memorable.
Now for the negative. I put this book down four or five times, and realized that even beautifully written, it was too slow. I’m not sure if the author was trying to build suspense, but the pace seemed to kill any kind of danger.
The characters were also fairly well rounded. I liked Thea and Chissick and Marta. I understood both Thea and Mr. Chissick’s motivations, but I just couldn’t connect with them emotionally. This killed any of the thrill factor for me as their investigations continued, and any potential threats lost that bit of oomph necessary to keep me flipping pages.
I did finish though, and I’m not sure if I’m satisfied with the ending. The author leaves a few questions unanswered, so I hope there’s another book. I would like to read more about Julian Chissick and his past, which I didn’t get enough of, and see where his friendship with Thea leads.
My Rating: 3.6/5
If you enjoyed this review, you can pre-order this book on Amazon for $3.99
Liked my review? Hated it? Leave a comment on our Facebook page or Tweet us @BBReviewers