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Monday, 13 October 2014
Buy or Borrow: Buy!
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Ever since Ian Kennedy's father went missing when he was a kid, and he subsequently found him a few years later, he's been obsessed with mysterious disappearances, and fell in to becoming a PI looking for missing persons. It all started when he was sent to Scotland to track down a family friends missing daughter, in what was not only his first, but also his strangest case. A case he has told no-one about.
So when Laura Lensky knocks on his door one day, and says her friend recommended him to her as he's dealt with a similar case, he's immediately intrigued and wary. Laura's missing daughter Peri has been gone for two years, and police don't want to know. You see, Peri called her mother 5 months after she originally disappeared saying she was fine, while that solved things for the Police, it just made her mother need to know what was going on, all the more.
But Peri isn't a runaway, while the Police may think it, Peri's mother Laura, and boyfriend Hugh, know it's a different case. Ian realizes why, when he agrees to be Laura's last ditch attempt to locate her daughter. Why? Because when he questions Hugh about the last night he saw Peri he tells an incredibly strange and unbelievable story, one that not only has parallels to his first case....but also sounds eerily similar to an old Celtic myth. But there's something strange going on....something....unexplainable.
Being that it's called The Mysteries, it will come as no surprise that this book is FULL of mysteries. It starts with a mystery, solves a mystery, showcases some other mysteries and ends with a mystery. Well it's a mystery if you don't have your own little idea of what Ian did. For the third review this week I find myself saying, "if you don't like not having a definitive answer....you will have a problem with this book".
I originally started reading this, unsure what to expect, I figured it was going to be a mystery book, girl goes missing, and the whole Celtic myth thing was just something the kidnapper was doing because he or she was weird. I was so very wrong. There are Sidth involved. As soon as I saw that word, I knew exactly what I had gotten myself in to. I don't want to boast, but I was quite the obsessed Merlin fan, and so ya know...they had an episode or two about said Sidth. It's this element that ensures The Mysteries stands out from other books in it's genre.
There's so much that's unique about this book, and so much that I loved. There's the way it starts off as a series mystery book, then adds these...magical elements, initially only mentioned in small chunks, as little tidbits, until the story of Amy's case unfurls and then there's more magical/mythical elements as they search for Peri.
The thing I loved most was that you'd have a chapter on the present day narrative, involving Peri's case and such, that is the main story that is going on in this book. After a point in the book, you then have Amy's case/story woven in and being told alongside Peri's, to explain why Peri's case seems so familiar. But that's not all, along with these, you have chapters with different people's names at the top, I've not done a google search yet to see if any of these stories are true or not, I'm under the impression they are, but I loved the inclusion of them. I loved how they changed. We get little chapters, a couple of pages long, about different people and how they disappeared, if they where found and so on, each is different to the other, but I loved how they changed in intent? Content? I'm not sure which word to use.
You see they start as stories about people who disappeared, one a British Ambassador, who just vanished in to thin air and was thought to have been assassinated by the French, for example, one's like that, that seemed strange and improbable, but had plenty of rational explanations. As the book continues, and as the stranger elements of Peri's case come out, as the story of Amy's case comes out, and as the Sidth and the magical element is introduced, these little chapters on different missing people changed to stories about people who'd been taken by the fairies and came back, or in some very old cases, some old lore was used, and they where rescued by people before the fairies could take them to the Otherworld.
I loved that, because the entire tone of the book changes, it's intent changes, and I just really loved it. The individual cases also added a break from the narrative, so you could process what had happened in the previous chapter, and refreshed you. I just really enjoyed the obvious slow changing of the book.
On much the same note, I loved the lore/mythology of the book, and it's something I'd quite like to check out more, pay a trip to the library and so on, to find out more. There's only so much you can glean from a 40 or so minute episode of Merlin, and I was eager throughout the book to learn more of the mythology, not just the Celtic Myth linked to Peri, but I was fascinated by the older missing persons cases in the book, about how to deal with fairies almost. The whole they have to trade with you thing, and so on. It was fascinating and so fantastically woven in to the main story, a story that you're under the impression is just a regular mystery book. The fairies and the mythology are subtle at first, then it gradually becomes more and more until the book changes.
I feel like I'm not describing it adequately but it's so hard to explain!
To be honest, I'll probably never look at missing persons case in the same way again, I mean I was reading this until about 4am, and I freely admit I was so involved in what was going on that I jumped a foot in the air when it started to loudly piss it down with rain. I seriously couldn't put this book down, putting it down even for to make a cup of tea, and I found myself thinking about it, running theories through my head and trying to work out what was going on, and I'm SO pleased to say this is one of the few books where it's near impossible to workout, so you're constantly surprised, shocked and amazed.
I really loved The Mysteries, it's fast paced, intriguing, impossible to put down, full of surprises, full of mythology and lore that's totally fascinating, and just totally unique to anything else. I can't sing its praises enough to be honest, it's a total mash-up of mystery, thriller, fantasy and even fairy tale!