Friday, May 22, 2015

Book review - Scarlett Undercover

Title: Scarlett Undercover
Author: Jennifer Latham
Genre: mystery/mild fantasy
Similar books: Jackaby by William Ritter
                     Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams
a solid mystery
Summary: After both of her parents died (her father murdered, her mother from cancer) genius Scarlett was headed for trouble. A kind police officer helped her to graduate early and get started as a private investigator. It's a role Scarlett was meant to fill. A young girl comes into her office one day asking for help with her brother who has been behaving very strangely, especially after his friend's suicide. As Scarlett investigates, she is drawn into a world of supernatural cults and curses which seems to be continuing to circle back to her own family secrets.

My opinion: This is a modern mystery with an almost noir feel. It deftly incorporates magical elements without ever becoming true fantasy, more the suggestion of magic than anything else. In fact, the plot becomes more about faith than magic. It addresses belief after tragedy, doubt, intellectual faith, and zealots. While the early chapters suffer somewhat from rather stiff narration and adherence to the traditional detective format and language, a little reading persistence pays off in a solid conclusion. 
Advance Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked the #weneeddiversebooks aspect of this title. That her sister embraced her religion in a different way made this especially interesting.