Throughout the first half of Black Cake, the author authentically described the rhythm and feel of life in the Caribbean in the 1960s. Initially, she is vague enough that the island discussed and its people could be multiple islands within the Caribbean. Specifically, I thought the book was a Trinidad and Tobago based story, but it is based in Jamaica. You felt it, though.
Never have I ever come across this magical skill in a book before. Verity’s magic is directly related to art. Paintings. Her abilities allow her to restore artwork, not just deftly, but magically, as she channels the master painters who did the original piece. She recreates exactly what the masters did when they painted the first time around. Stunning right? I know!
The prologue reads as a woman sitting in a house with a dead body upstairs. She is sure she will be arrested. There is guilt. There is fear. The police are in the house questioning her, and just as she claims, she only heard a sound and found the body. A young officer shouts he has found something unbelievable upstairs. At that point, I stopped. I had searched and downloaded the book, but not paid too much attention to the reviews, or comments, etc. It is my friend’s relative book. I am reading it anyhow. After that prologue, I go back and check. My brain registers for the first time the description. “An absolutely addictive psychological thriller with a jaw-dropping twist.”
If you think about it, being the sister ignored, as you watch your family rave and extol the virtues of your sibling, who you know is a serial killer, could be a petulant mess. Ms. Braithwaite artfully spares us from such dreariness. She instead shares the insight and the truth of sibling comparison, all wrapped up in humor, as a worldly lesson.
Or maybe you stopped in the grocery, not realising you were hungry, to pick up two things max, and ended up rolling a full cart back out to your car? If either of those situations resonates with you, you completely understand when I say, every time I pick up one of the books from Victoria Raschke’s Voices of the Dead to just read a few pages in-between some task, I end up getting caught up for a minimum of 5 chapters.
Trauma induced talents. That is at the core of this series. The Naturals series, (aptly named btw) takes a deep look at what happens if your trauma, instead of debilitating you, grants you a creepy but very useful super power. These books are for the people who binge True Crime stories, and who love unraveling what is going on in a killer’s head. If that is your jam, this series is a must read for you.
This book is a solid 3.5. I picked it up because Nalini Singh, my heart writer, recommended it, and she never steers me wrong. The Kiss Quotient was no exception. As the author describes, it is a reverse Pretty Woman. But it also a journey of self discovery for our heroine who is dealing with a disability no one can see on looking at her. That to me was the angle and story line that drew me in.