Book Review. “The Halo Effect” by Anne D. LeClaire

51ZanlM1XLL._SS130_I downloaded this book thinking it was a murder mystery, and it is, but the story starts after the murder and focuses on the way that the murder affects the victim’s family and friends.

Lucy, a teenage girl in a small seaside town is murdered, and naturally her parents are devastated. The father, an artist, becomes angry and turns to drink. The mother eventually leaves him. Her best friend, Rain, becomes obsessed with security and starts cutting herself to let the feelings out. And Father Gervais, tasked by the bishop with commissioning Lucy’s father to paint representations of the saints for a new cathedral, has his own long-buried grief to work through.

This is a well written narrative. The smells and scenery, the people and their surroundings are described so well that you can put yourself into Port Fortune and “see” the people clearly.

TV crime shows like “Midosmer Murders” and “NCIS” rarely examine the effect that death has on the community around the victim. You can’t do that in 50 minutes. This is a book that deals with grief in all its messiness and still appeals as a great story in its own right.





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