The Diviners is set in the roaring Twenties, and principally features aspiring flapper Evie O'Neill, sent to stay with her Uncle Will in New York after an 'incident' in her Ohio hometown. The incident involves her clairvoyant abilities to read the secrets of others in items they own. She's not alone - while in New York, she encounters others with secret powers, including a boy who can will invisibility, a healer who has lost his faith, a boy with ESP, and a girl very much connected with fire.
New York is just as exciting as Evie hopes it will be - if not too exciting. She arrives just as a serial killer is beginning a spree that will wend its way around town, with seemingly no rhyme or reason. Involved in the case through her uncle's consulting duties with the police, Evie begins to believe that her gift could be the key that unlocks the killer's identity - although this particular killer is not exactly one to whom bars and concrete will form much of a prison.
I don't normally like books that head hop but in the case of The Diviners, it's pretty essential to delivering the plot. The interwoven strands, following each of our Diviners as they struggle to either hide or reconnect with their power, work together so well that the book becomes difficult to put down. I often found myself cross that I'd have to stop reading, or miss my Metro stop on the way to work. I'd never really read anything set in the 1920s before but I found the writing authentic, and the characters intensely likeable. I don't normally like the loud, brash girl who is desperate to be centre of attention, but Evie managed to charm me all the same - she does things for herself, not to suit someone else.
The Diviners is also an example of a paranormal romance which is heavy on paranormal and light on romance - for those of us who just want to read about ghosts and supernatural powers, this is an ideal read. Sure, there's romance, but it doesn't dominate the plot to the exclusion of all else. I have to admit, as much as Sam and Jericho are proposed as potential romantic leads, I actually found Memphis the most attractive male of all, particularly through his devotion to his little brother.
While the ending wraps up incredibly neatly, there's also the suggestion that there is more to come, that the events of this book will be small potatoes compared with what will come later. I understand this is the first of a series, though, and I for one cannot wait for the next installment. Beautifully written, gripping, and full of suspense, The Diviners comes highly recommended by me.
Five blunt pencils!