by Kelley Armstrong
Cover Artist: Xaviere Daumarie
Review by Gayle Surrette
Subterranean Press Deluxe Hardcover / eBook ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596068216
Date: 01 March 2017
Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong is a Cainsville novella. I know of the Cainsville series, but I haven't read any of them, so I don't know the background of the town or how it works or the backstory of these characters. I still found Lost Souls totally engrossing without any prior experience with the series. Any mistakes on character or town relationships are most likely because of my lack of series knowledge.
Patrick writes novels for a living and he approaches Gabriel Walsh with a case he wants researched. The case is a disappearing hitchhiker, a classic urban legend, except in this case there's a weird twist, the man involved reported the incident to the police and insists it really happened. Gabriel knows legends and myths and feels this is a waste of time but it just might be weird enough to get his researcher, Olivia Taylor-Jones, to forgive him for his insensitive comments and rudeness.
As the story flows along, the reader gains some backstory on Gabriel's life history and his complicated relationship with Olivia. There's also interesting connections between Patrick and Olivia and Gabriel. All of these inter-relationships hint around at much more complicated connections between the three.
The supposed urban legend, as they begin to research, seems to implicate a ghost. Gabriel believes it may be some sort of fae trick. Historical research indicates that the victims of the hitchhiker die within days of the incident. The problem is how to get to the bottom of the problem before time runs out.
Tension builds as the point of view switches between the three main characters, so that readers get a fuller picture of what is going on than by following any one character exclusively. There are secrets that keep critical information from being shared, and misinformation that is targeted specifically to the one that will misunderstand it best. All these cross purposes manage to keep the reader turning pages until the final confrontation where even the reader isn't sure how things will turn out.
There's a heck of a lot of story in these 192 pages. For fans of the series, this will be a must read. For those who haven't read any of the Cainsville novels, Lost Souls is a small taste and may cause you to seek out the series.