Author: Alan Finn
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 1869, 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, more distant tragedy–the murder of his mother at the hands of his father, the famed magician Magellan Holmes…a 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 Sensemeet The Alienist–and where nothing is quite as it seems…
The awesome thing is that this book reminded me of so many great books that I have recently read. Although extremeeeeely different, it had elements that reminded me of Lydia Kang’s The Impossible Girl, Tomi Adeyami’s Children of Blood and Bone, and even Stuart Turtron’s The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. What is awesome about this book though is that this book came out LONGGGGGGG before any of the mentioned titles did!
This book is super hard to review without giving away much of anything. First things first, I was so surprised that this had so little reviews found on Goodreads. Many readers gave fab reviews for Riley Sager’s The Last Time I Lied. This book was actually written by the same author under a different pen name of Alan Finn. If you are a fan of The Final Girls, or The Last Time I Lied, I strongly recommend that you give this a read. It is severly underrated
I felt connected to all of the characters in the book. Edward was super compelling and I enjoyed his story as well as Lucy’s. The characters are dynamic which is important and satisfying. I really enjoyed that this kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I would think that I would figure out certain aspects of the plot and then be completely wrong. Even up until the very end, I was finding out more and more imporant information.
My biggest issue with this book is that this is the end! I would love more Edward and Lucy and wish that there was more of this series. I would love to continue to read more about both of these characters.