Friday, 6 April 2018

Sekhet by Karen. K. Weakley (Book review).

“with a compelling story and interesting characters...(Weakley’s) effortless style is quite simply a joy to read"

I was delighted to get an advance preview of a book by another amazing Wexford author. Working in the library, I went to the shelves to find Karen’s other book that I knew of, Daughter of Arella and was astounded by what is on offer from Wexford authors. To my left I can see John Banville, (also writes as Benjamin Black) & Eoin Colfer. On the same shelf I see amazing female authors Margaret Hawkins & Cat Hogan and then to my right I see Colm Toibin. Imagine that, how daunting would it be to put one’s self out there amongst an ocean of fantastic authors, AND, I’m delighted to say that Karen does Wexford proud with her latest creation.  

iPad, tea and thoughts gathered I need to start with how surreal this is, reviewing a book written by someone who used to live less than 100 meters away from me that now lives some 7,270km away. How mad is that. For those Americans reading this, it’s Wexford in Ireland BTW, not Wexford in Pennsylvania.

I got to read the first 10% of the book and cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of it. The prologue quickly introduces us to a World of witchcraft, horror and intrigue and a battle of wills between Sekhet & the inexperience Molly who has opened up a World of hurt. I can’t wait to see how this part of the story intertwines with that of Victor Wright, a respectful Seattle Homicide Detective who has a gift (or curse) for communing with trapped souls. By day he is a detective, by night a necromancer. It has helped him on his meteoric rise in the department, his friend Molly is the only person that knows and understands his powers. His partner Joe (who fancies Molly something awful) has some idea of his powers, but doesn’t really believe in the whole thing.

We follow the trio through snow covered mountains on a hike and are introduced to Lily Davis, she is annoying Victor, she knows she is a ghost and wants his help. She doesn’t know who brutally murdered her but thinks her husband (Frankie) is going to kill someone. This cuts the hiking holiday short and they have to return to Seattle to investigate. Victor also has another really disturbing case to investigate, that of the “brutal assault, choking, and finally, a knife laceration which had caused her to bleed out” of Emily, a 6 year old. She didn’t even know she was dead, yes, this one was going to haunt him until he solved it.

Weakley’s descriptions are evocative and sensual. I love her easy flowing, descriptive style of writing. I’m an avid reader and jump from many authors, styles and genres. When I sit down to read Stephen King I know it’s going to be challenging. The element of Weakley’s writing that has stayed with me is how well she writes, how much of a page-turner and joy her work is to read. The best comparison I can think of is the style of John Grisham. On first glance an easy, quick read, but on further reflection a style that in fact is not easy to get right with a compelling story and interesting characters. This effortless style is quite simply a joy to read.

It’s strange when you know the author and where they are from; Weakley describes a church that:

“reeked of long-standing, forgotten candles, burnt to their wicks...Frankie sat quietly, eyes closed, but as tears began to sting his eyes and wet his cheeks, he threw his head back, toward the decorated ceiling

My mind automatically went to Rowe Street church which is just around the corner from where we both lived.

(interior of Rowe Street church by Pat Sheridan)

Straight away, I know this book is ticking lots of boxes for me; witchcraft, horror, detective story and visceral violence (Karen Rose fans take note). 

Karen has recently started blogging herself and you can learn more about her HERE, you can also find her on all the normal channels: TWITTER  FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAMShe comes from a family of musicians and artists; she is a doting wife, mother and most importantly a dog lover.

From the preview, I give this book an 8/10 rating for now and cannot wait to read the whole thing.

John The Captain Ryan

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