Thursday, June 21, 2018

✱✱ Book Review ✱✱ The Color of Fear by Wendy Wanner

The Color of Fear 
by Wendy Wanner

Murder. Unexplained events. Mysterious symbols. One woman risks her life and challenges her belief in good and evil to uncover the truth...
A spree of unexplained serial killings rocks the quiet, God-fearing town of Eastwood, shattering nearly 350 years of peace and harmony since the witch trials in neighboring Salem. Rachel, a successful interior decorator, finds her own past is inexplicably entwined with the happenings.
Rachel’s focus on growing her clientele leads to redecorating the family homes of some of the oldest, wealthiest and most powerful women in Eastwood. With no family of her own, Rachel welcomes becoming a trusted confidant and is taken into their social circle. She learns that her own past is tied not only to this society of women but also to the town itself, and that history is darker and more sinister the deeper she dives.
As she tries to learn all she can from her new friends, she finds herself in a race against time as the genteel women are being targeted and murdered before they can divulge their secrets. Each new murder leads Rachel further into their murky past to try to unearth the truth behind one cryptic symbol, and what it means to the future of the town.
Pitted against the killer, will Rachel succeed in unlocking the mysteries of supernatural phenomena, save her new friends and prevent a rebirth of Wiccan hysteria?

Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐

This debut novel took me by surprise. I expected a supernatural mystery, and I got that, but it's so much more than that. The Color of Fear is a bit of a mixed bag of genres and tropes. It starts out with our main character at her brother's funeral and had an overall dark feel to it, which makes sense given the nature of his death. From there, the story moves forward and we start to learn about Rachel and the town she lives in. We do get quite a bit of information in the beginning and there are some info dump type passages. There is also a number of characters introduced rather quickly, and with so much information included, it did take a bit to figure out the who's who of this tale. Nevertheless, each character is given enough space throughout the story that I began to get a feel for them and where they stood in the pecking order. These introductory chapters have a cozy mystery vibe to them, as well as an almost soap opera type feel with the who's cheating who rundown - both in and out of the bedroom. The setting is modern day, but the dialogue seems more old world, which I assume is due to the lifestyle and elite nature of the characters. As the story progresses, things slowly start to take on a darker tone and for our main character, everyone is a suspect. At times during the story, it felt like the mystery took a backseat to the everyday lives of the community, but little by little, it all comes together and makes sense. I was impressed with how the author managed so much going on and still kept that niggling air of suspense throughout. The book is lengthy and while there were things I liked and things I didn't, the writing style and attention to detail kept the pages turning. In the end, I suppose you could say that this is a murder mystery mixed in with some romance, a bit of the supernatural, small town life, and old world society. Whatever the genre, if this is any indication of what this debut author is capable of, I'm intrigued to see what she does next.

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