A recent favorite of mine has been Kieran Shield’s The Truth of All Things. At first I wasn’t so sure about this one. The story starts off a bit darker and more violent than what I typically gravitate toward. As the novel progresses, however, Shields brings in fascinating elements of history and conspiracy theory set against the backdrop of Gothic New England.
In the summer of 1892, Deputy Marshal Archie Lean is called to investigate a woman’s murder in Portland, Maine. When he arrives, he finds the body laid out like a pentagram and pinned to the earth with a pitchfork. After some digging, he learns that this death by “sticking” is a traditional method of killing a witch.
Realizing he is in over his head, Lean enlists the help of local historian Helen Prescott and criminalist Perceval Grey. Although skeptical of each other’s methods, together the detectives try to stop the killer before he can get to his next victim. In the process they discover a secret pattern to the murders, steeped in the dark history of the Salem witch trials.
This novel will appeal to fiction readers who enjoy fast-paced murder and conspiracy novels (such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code or Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason’s The Rule of Four). It will also appeal to Non-Fiction readers with its well-researched historical elements. I recommend this book to any reader looking for something dark, mysterious and exciting.