cover image Omens


Kelley Armstrong. Dutton, $26.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-525-95304-3

Armstrong (the Otherworld series) blends mystery and paranormal romance in the first Cainsville novel, which—despite its length—will frustrate readers with its lack of substance. At age 24, Olivia Taylor-Jones learns she was adopted by her wealthy parents after her birth parents, Pamela and Todd Larsen, were convicted of committing eight ritual murders. On the run from reporters, she makes her way to Cainsville, Ill., an isolated and peculiar small town decorated—or perhaps protected—by numerous gargoyles and populated by inhabitants among whom Olivia’s blossoming visions are not extraordinary. Gabriel Walsh, the former lawyer for Pamela Larsen, hunts down Olivia with a business proposition and offers to prepare her to visit Pamela in prison. His commanding presence exudes danger and intrigue, and he and Olivia become enmeshed in a harrowing investigation that may prove the Larsens’ innocence. The fantasy elements take a backseat to the mystery, and by book’s end little is known about the world Armstrong is constructing. (Aug.)