I received this book for free from Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Thank you This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review Genre Historical Fiction, Mystery Rating 4.0 My Thoughts Things Half in Shadow is a mystery blended with the supernatural Set in Postbellum America 1869 Philadelphia , Shadow is told in the first person narrative by Edward Clark Shadow enters the world of Spiritualism, Mediums, and a secret society bent on ruling the world with their machinations Columbus Holmes, son of The Amazing Magellan Holmes, now lives under the name of Edward Clark Clark is a crime reporter for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin He is also a veteran of the Civil War, and has been having his own struggles coming to terms with surviving the war between the states, while his friends did not Edward has hidden his real identity for 15 years for fear of being forced to deal with one of the worst nights of his life The night his own father killed his mother Full Review Gizmos Reviews Recvd via NetGalley 09 18 2014 Expected publication December 30th 2014 by Gallery Books Hauntings, crystal ball gazing and mysteries abound in postbellum America Sounds intriguing right And the first few chapters are Edward Clark is a young crime reporter whose editor has assigned him to investigate fraudulent mediums throughout the city What follows is a series of plot one upmanships that the author can t possibly deliver on The engaging story lines fall by the wayside as we are made to slog through action sequences that are both implausible and unnecessary Throw in a ridiculously cliched romance and you ve lost this reader for the rest of the book.This was a book club pick though, so I finished the book Is it telling that several members accidentally forgot their books at the host s house Now there s a mystery I can solve It should be noted that this was one of the books that I suggested to the host, so I am partly to blame for this book selection. Postbellum America Makes For A Haunting Backdrop In This Historical And Supernatural Tale Of Moonlit Cemeteries, Masked Balls, Cunning Mediums, And Terrifying Secrets Waiting To Be Unearthed By An Intrepid Crime Reporter The Year Is , 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, Distant Tragedy The Murder Of His Mother At The Hands Of His Father, The Famed Magician Magellan Holmesa 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 4.5 STARS What an engaging read It is 1869 in Philadelphia Families are mourning the many dead from the Civil War and Spiritualism is on the rise There are many mediums who are exploiting those trying to contact their loved ones who have died.The main character Edward Clark is a crime journalist He has his own hidden family history that he s been trying to keep secretly locked away behind his new life When he s pulled into an assignment to debunk the mediums in the city, he ends up meeting feisty and stubborn Lucy Collins Edward ends up having to join forces with her for his assignment for the paper What ensues is a mystery I couldn t put down The intrigue, murder mystery, characters, and writing come together perfectly I was kept guessing until the mystery was revealed This debut is amazing I can t wait to see what the author writes next Thank you Netgalley and Gallery Books for a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review. When I decided to read Things Half In Shadow by Alan Finn, I wasn t sure what I should expect Was this book a Historical Fiction Murder Mystery Paranormal Thriller Something in between Or would it encompass all of the above Needless to say, this title s about blurb had intrigued me and my only real concern was whether this 436 page book was going to be an interesting read or a snoozer I needn t have worried because Things Half In Shadow was completely captivating For starters, I was happy that Finn wrote this tale in the first person a style I thoroughly enjoy I was also impressed with the manner in which he shared this adventure using history, verbiage and mannerisms that made me feel as if I was actually experiencing the 19th century Yes, Things Half In Shadow is a fictional yarn and yet Edward Clark, the book s main character, believably explains via the Foreword that his coming words will be truth Clark s granddaughter Isabel has a fascination with the ghostly and the macabre when she learned that he had first hand experience with a supernatural murder, she demanded that he pen the accounting to paper for posterity s sake.So, readers will finish the Foreword dated 1919 , and then they will turn the page meeting the Edward Clark from 1869 He s a well respected crime reporter for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and has quite the readership following On this particular April morning, Clark was unceremoniously awoken at five o clock only to be escorted by a policeman to the city s waterfront Even earlier that morning, a young woman s body had been fished from the Delaware River and police need Clark s Evening Bulletin readers help in identifying her.Police Investigator William Barclay believes that this is a case of accidental drowning, but Clark doesn t agree with that assessment Where is the purpling skin due to lack of oxygen or the bloating that goes hand in hand with drowning This woman s expression is so serene she looks as if she had passed in her sleep Clark and Barclay s conversation is abruptly interrupted when an older woman and her daughter arrive on the scene The two women positively identify the deceased as none other than their daughter sister With the victim s identity now established, Clark is no longer needed so he trudges off to the office.Unfortunately, Clark s editor corners him with a very unfavorable assignment visit the homes of local mediums participate in their s ances and then write a weekly article debunking the myth proving that each medium he visits is a fraud This is definitely not Clark s cup of tea He s a crime writer and is completely uninterested in pursuing stories about what are obviously fictitious happenings While his editor does agree that s ances are nothing but hokum, he refuses to let him off the hook so easily Clark must at least give the proposed assignment some sincere thought first And at this point, if readers desire to know where the story goes from here, then they ll need to get their own copy.In summary, Things Half In Shadow was a grippingly good read Finn has a wonderful writing style and he unquestioningly managed to accurately portray the feel of 1869 The plot, scenes and characters were exceptionally believable In fact, there were times I felt as though I was reading one of Arthur Conan Doyle s, Sherlock Holmes stories Things Half in Shadow has it all murder, mystery, intrigue, and a smattering of some ghostly paranormal thrown in for good measure A fantastic tale and an author I m looking forward to reading from in the future.Five stars and certainly deserving of each one. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this it comes out January 15, 2015 and I feel sorry for those of you who have to wait Set in the 1800s in Philadelphia, it s the gripping story of a Mr Edward Clark, a rather ordinary chap who gets pulled into the world of ghosts and seances and a murder investigation You ll come to care about the characters well, most of them and you ll appreciate the well researched details You won t want to put it down Things in Half Shadow is an entertaining mystery thriller with a paranormal twist, set in postbellum Philadelphia, in which author Alan Finn the pen name of Todd Ritter introduces an unusual crime solving duo independently wealthy crime reporter, Edward Clark and brazen confidence trickster, Lucy Collins, who become unlikely allies when they are present at the death of Lenora Grimes Pastor, the city s most highly regarded medium.Edward tells the tale of Things Half in Shadow as an old man sharing the story with his granddaughter The two lead characters are wonderfully drawn, interesting and believable with intriguing secrets.Edward is a gentleman, a veteran of the civil war, independently wealthy and engaged to a young lady of society Tasked by his editor to expose Philadelphia s psychic fraudsters preying on the grieving families of those lost in the war, he is reluctant to do so, though he has a secret that makes him uniquely qualified for the feature Mrs Lucy Collins claims to be a spiritually gifted young widow, offering her services as a medium to the bereaved of Philadelphia and is Edward s first target for his newspaper expose In truth she is a fallen woman, successfully scamming Philadelphia society with simple sleight of hand.The plot sees Edward and Lucy forced to cooperate in the wake of Pastor s murder to clear their names, despite their mutual antipathy There are several suspects including the other man and women who were in attendance at the seance, Leonora s husband and a mysterious man in black who seems to be shadowing Edward The suspense is well crafted, and the mystery behind Leonora s unusual death is much complex than it seems, eventually exposing a startling conspiracy that stretches back into Edward s past.Historically atmospheric, with a surprise cameo from PT Barnum, Things Half in Shadow is a great mystery tale, and one of my favourite books for 2014 Finn hints that Edward and Lucy may return soon, I can t wait. An entertaining historical tale with a fascinating focus Spiritualism in post Civil War Philadelphia, as narrated in first person by a skeptical newspaper reporter, a Union Army veteran, as he lives these events Readers of historical fiction will delight in the period detail, and those who like a Supernatural flavor will be quite riveted too. Edward Clark has a secret he was once Columbus Holmes, son of The Amazing Magellan Holmes a famous magician But then, his father committed a crime, when Columbus was ten, so horrible that Columbus swore he never see him again He became Edward Clark, crime reporter, and he tried his very best to leave his past behind him But everything is about to change when he is asked to investigate mediums and cross path with the lovely, but strong willed Mrs Lucy Collins.This book was fabulous, from the beginning to the end Magicians, mediums, secret society, murders, ghosts, a hero and heroine that start out hating each other and all mixed into a riveting story I loved every chapter of the book The only drawback to the book I want , I want Edward Clark alias Columbus Holmes, I want Lucy Collins, and I want stories I didn t want this book to end I loved the atmosphere in the book How I love stories set in the 1900 century , I loved that P.T Barnum made a cameo appearance.I recommend this book strongly to anyone who wants to read a great book Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review NetGalley book review What an excellent fabulous read This books starts out right away with grabbing your attention and not letting go until the last page Packed with mediums, spirits and plenty of other stuff, this book is a winner I very much enjoyed this story of a reporter trying to figure out if all the mediums are real or fake and then meeting a certain one and that s when the story gets great.
Alan Finn is the pen name of Todd Ritter, an acclaimed author of mysteries He has worked as a writer, editor, journalist and ghost writer He lives in Princeton, New Jersey, where he is hard at work on his next novel.
- 448 pages
- Things Half in Shadow
- Alan Finn
- 06 February 2018 Alan Finn