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I knew I would enjoy this book when I read the back cover copy. Ghosts and shadowy figures and the veil between life and death in an historical setting? Yes, please!
The story takes place one hundred years ago in Los Angeles. The main character, Letitia, is a highly gifted psychic who can bring peace and comfort to those grieving the loss of a loved one by peering into the last moments before death. It by no means comes without danger to Letitia. This sort of thing is so fascinating to me.
Behind the Veil is written beautifully and it’s very much the haunting gothic style that I love. The descriptions are about as vivid as you can get, using all the senses to elicit emotion in the reader. Dawson is a gifted storyteller! The words she pens radiate tension, and she just seems to have this natural ability to use exactly right words at exactly the right time in exactly the right way. One of the first lines that really struck me (and there were so many throughout the story) was, “The woman smiled for the first time in days, and not the toothless grin of a hag but the wide smile of a Cheshire cat, with perfect teeth and all the secrets.” I love how loaded that sentence is and how it ends with “all the secrets!”
The author hints at sorrowful circumstances in the main character’s past in a way that made me sympathize with Letitia even though I didn’t know exactly what happened until much later in the book. I wanted her to protect herself, but I also wanted her to do the Big Thing for another character, Mr. Driscoll, even though it would be endangering her life. I could see a budding romance between them, and I loved their dynamic. The things they navigate in their new relationship are certainly not typical!
I enjoy a female character tainted by secrets in her past, but who can rise up against them and be a total badass! I also loved how tender and caring Mr. Driscoll was with her when she was ill. I loved how her past tied in with what she was experiencing in her present.
Overall this book was a wonderfully written, dark and gothic tale set in 1920s America with English and Irish roots. The language was easy and appropriate for that time. It was enticing, compelling, and the stakes were strong which made me want to keep reading. I could easily see it playing out in my mind, thanks to the gorgeous descriptions, and I totally want to see this made into a movie! This is definitely an author I will read again!
From the Back Cover:
Can she keep the secrets of her past to rescue a girl tormented by a ghost?
In 1920s Los Angeles, Letitia Hawking reads the veil between life and death. A scrying bowl allows her to experience the final moments of the deceased. She brings closure to grief-stricken war widows and mourning families.
For Letitia, it is a penance. She knows no such peace.
For Alasdair Driscoll, it may be the only way to save his niece, Finola, from her growing night terrors. But when Letitia sees a shadowy figure attached to the household, it rouses old fears of her unspeakable past in England.
When a man comes to her about his missing daughter, the third girl to go missing in as many months, Letitia can’t help him when she can’t see who’s taken them.
As a darkness haunts Letitia’s vision, she may not be given a choice in helping the determined Mr Driscoll, or stop herself falling in love with him. But to do so risks a part of herself she locked away, and to release it may cost Letitia her sanity and her heart.
About the Author:
Beginning a writing journey with an epic 21 book series, Ejay started her author career in 2014 and has taken on the ups and downs of self-publishing with her fantasy series The Last Prophecy since 2016. At the start of 2019, she put the series on the backburner to write Behind the Veil in 25 days, and signed a publishing contract for the gothic noir novel to independent publisher Literary Wanderlust. Behind the Veil is set for release on the October 1st 2021. She resumed self-publishing a scifi series, Queen of Spades released across 2020 and 2021, as well as signing another contract with Literary Wanderlust for NA fantasy, Echo of the Evercry. Believing in more than one path to a career in publishing, Ejay pursues self-publishing alongside querying traditional publishers with multiple manuscripts.
You can connect with E. J. Dawson on Twitter @ejdawsonauthor. Her website is www.ejdawson.com.
Thank you to Blackthorn Books and the author for the e-book in exchange for an honest review!
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