Things Half in Shadow
Add to your GoodReads Shelf
The year is 1869, and the Civil War haunts the city of Philadelphia like a stubborn ghost. Mothers in black continue to mourn their lost sons. Photographs of the dead adorn dim sitting rooms. Maimed and broken men roam the streets. One of those men is Edward Clark, who is still tormented by what he saw during the war. Also constantly in his thoughts is another, more distant tragedy--the murder of his mother at the hands of his father, the famed magician Magellan Holmes...a crime that Edward witnessed when he was only ten.
Now a crime reporter for one of the city's largest newspapers, Edward is asked to use his knowledge of illusions and visual trickery to expose the influx of mediums that descended on Philadelphia in the wake of the war. His first target is Mrs. Lucy Collins, a young widow who uses old-fashioned sleight of hand to prey on grieving families. Soon, Edward and Lucy become entwined in the murder of Lenora Grimes Pastor, the city's most highly regarded--and by all accounts, legitimate--medium, who dies mid-seance. With their reputations and livelihoods at risk, Edward and Lucy set out to find the real killer, and in the process unearth a terrifying hive of secrets that reaches well beyond Mrs. Pastor.
Blending historical detail with flights of fancy, "Things Half in Shadow" is a riveting thriller where "Medium" and "The Sixth Sense" meet "The Alienist"--and where nothing is quite as it seems...
*Copy gifted in exchange for an honest review
I utterly enjoyed this book! From the smooth prose that felt like you were sitting down with your best friend to hear a captivating tale, to the setting, time period & characters that drew me in completely, to the story within a story within story that had me chuckling & wondering & waiting for the end, I looked forward to picking this up again and again each time I was forced to set it down.
Things Half in Shadow is told in first person as a kind of memoir. The protagonist, Edward, is retelling his adventures to his granddaughter, and spins the tale of what happened when he was asked by his editor to investigate the mediums in Philadelphia and uncover the truth to the newspaper's readers.
With the help of an unlikely ally, Lucy Collins (a character I completely adored!), Edward is thrown into a plot full of murder, mystery, subterfuge, secrets, lies, and folly. The complex web that Mr. Finn wove with regards to the arc was utterly captivating, and I chuckled, gasped, shook my head and anxiously awaited each new reveal.
I honestly wasn't sure what to expect with Things Half in Shadow. After all, I'm usually an urban fantasy and paranormal romance reader, and this was pitched as a historical with subtle paranormal elements, but I absolutely loved it, would highly recommend it, and will happily venture back into Mr. Finn's imagination again soon.