All These Bodies by Kendare Blake
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Summary from NetGalley:
Summer 1958. A gruesome killer plagues the Midwest, leaving behind a trail of bodies completely drained of blood.
Michael Jensen, an aspiring journalist whose father happens to be the town sheriff, never imagined that the Bloodless Murders would come to his backyard. Not until the night the Carlson family was found murdered in their home. Marie Catherine Hale, a diminutive fifteen-year-old, was discovered at the scene—covered in blood. She is the sole suspect in custody.
Michael didn’t think that he would be part of the investigation, but he is pulled in when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to. As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies?
ARC provided by Harper Collins via NetGalley for an honest review.
This book is a bit different from this author’s other books, but in some ways it was the same. It is historical fiction with a supernatural feel to it. The writing was amazing and the plot left you wondering what was true and what was lies. And even after the end you are still wondering.
The story is told from Michael’s point of view. He is a young man, the son of the sheriff, who finds himself in the difficult position of having to interview a young girl accused of a string of horrific murders. Michael doesn’t want to believe that Marie is capable of these horrible things, but he isn’t sure what to make of her story either. But Michael wants to be a journalist and so tries to be impartial, but isn’t quite able to.
Marie does present as a young naive fifteen year old, but there are flashes that she is older than she seems. She has seen things that she can not forget. I am not entirely convinced that her story was true, but there is evidence that some of what she says matches with the evidence. I wanted to like Marie, but found it hard, although I was able to find some sympathy for her and her circumstances that lead her to this situation.
This is a plot driven story, and it is quite the plot. It is loosely based on a murder spree committed by a young couple in the 1950’s in the midwest. The setting of a small midwestern town was well done. The fear and superstitions of this type of setting played well into the story. The whole feel of the story was creepy and eerie. This would make a great book to read on a stormy autumn night.
I am not usually a fan of endings that leave you to make your own conclusions as to what happens next, but for this book it totally worked. I am still trying to work out what was real and what wasn’t. There is a bit of magical realism with the supernatural part of the story and that was what made the story so creepy and spooky at times.
If you enjoyed this author’s other books, I think you will like this one too. You need to go into it knowing that it is different from the others in that it reads like a historical fiction but it will keep you wondering about what is real and what isn’t.