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The Diviner's Tale
by Bradford Morrow

Overview - An Otto Penzler Book Walking a lonely forested valley on a spring morning in upstate New York, having been hired by a developer to dowse the land, Cassandra Brooks comes upon the shocking vision of a young girl hanged from a tree. When she returns with authorities to the site, the body has vanished, leaving in question Cassandra's credibility if not her sanity.  Read more...

 
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More About The Diviner's Tale by Bradford Morrow
 
 
 
Overview
An Otto Penzler Book Walking a lonely forested valley on a spring morning in upstate New York, having been hired by a developer to dowse the land, Cassandra Brooks comes upon the shocking vision of a young girl hanged from a tree. When she returns with authorities to the site, the body has vanished, leaving in question Cassandra's credibility if not her sanity. The next day, on a return visit with the sheriff to have another look, a dazed, mute missing girl emerges from the woods, alive and the very picture of Cassandra's hanged girl. What follows is the narrative of ever-deepening and increasingly bizarre divinations that will lead this gifted young woman, the struggling single mother of twin boys, hurtling toward a past she'd long since thought was behind her. "The Diviner's Tale" is at once a journey of self-discovery and an unorthodox murder mystery, a tale of the fantastic and a family chronicle told by an otherwise ordinary woman. When Cassandra's dark forebodings take on tangible form, she is forced to confront a life spiraling out of control. And soon she is locked in a mortal chess match with a real-life killer who has haunted her since before she can remember.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780547382630
  • ISBN-10: 0547382634
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
  • Publish Date: January 2011
  • Page Count: 311


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - General
Books > Fiction > Thrillers - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2010-11-08
  • Reviewer: Staff

Cassandra Brooks, who lives in rural upstate New York with her twin sons, ekes out a living substitute teaching and dowsing, or divining, in Morrow's solid gothic-infused tale of family secrets. As a child, Cassandra discovered she possessed the gift to divine water and have "forevisions" of the future, including one the night her beloved older brother, Christopher, was killed. While on a divining job for a new property development, Cassandra sees the body of a teenage girl hanging from a tree, but when she returns with the police, there's no trace of the body. Cassandra wonders what her vision means, especially after a runaway girl, Laura Bryant, surfaces and claims she was kidnapped. Even though the vision dredges up bittersweet memories of Christopher, Cassandra is determined to help Laura, who's in real danger. Morrow (Ariel's Crossing) beautifully evokes Cassandra's inner turmoil, but those expecting a conventional whodunit may be disappointed. (Jan.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Richly textured supernatural thriller

Cassandra Brooks would like to live a normal life. She tries to ignore her supernatural talents, retreating from her hometown to a quiet, underpopulated area with her twin sons. Having endured several lectures from her Christian mother, Cassandra even begins to dress in a feminine way and attend an occasional church service. Still, Cassandra’s true nature keeps asserting itself. In the woods, a terrible vision haunts her: Has a young girl hanged herself and gone unnoticed for days? Why does Cassandra repeatedly have premonitions and terrifying flashbacks—the smell of a cigar just outside her window, the memory of a woman falling from a cliff, the sight of a pale, ghostly girl who seems to have something to say? Soon, Cassandra’s premonitions pull her away from her attempts to achieve domestic tranquility. She is on the trail of a killer and determined to learn the meaning of her strange visions—unless someone murders her first.

The Diviner’s Tale is chilling and unexpectedly powerful. What elevates Bradford Morrow’s writing above the level of an average supernatural thriller is his attention to feeling and character. Cassandra has a rich, complicated past; a fraught, bittersweet and recognizable relationship with her mother; and a lifelike rapport with her sons. Morrow also has an exquisite gift for describing the physical world. Here, a woman recalls the evening of the Fourth of July: “The connecting dots of constellations punctuated the purple sky, and the moon rose looking like a piece of glowing citron hard candy that had been sucked by some giant child.”

Fans of mystery novels will want to pick up The Diviner’s Tale. Like Ruth Rendell and P.D. James, Morrow writes extraordinarily literary thrillers, giving us beautiful language while telling an old-fashioned, nail-biting story. With the publication of this novel, both Cassandra and Morrow are certain to acquire many fans.

 
BAM Customer Reviews

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