What a difference a few weeks make…Omens may have introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones and Gabriel Walsh to the world, but Visions shows them in an entirelyWhat a difference a few weeks make…Omens may have introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones and Gabriel Walsh to the world, but Visions shows them in an entirely new light. Gone are the innocent socialite in the midst of discovering a crazy new world pulled from her own nightmares, and the cold-hearted, unfeeling thug of a lawyer who has attached himself to her side, intent on taking her for a ride. In their place we find a confident young woman who is more than ready to take the world by the balls and an “onion” of a man who gets even more complex as Olivia persistently begins to peel his layers back.
While working on her parents’ case in an effort to prove them innocent of a series of grizzly murders, Olivia begins to discover more about her past, her birth parents, and the people and community that she has become to think of as ‘home’. She discovers that she has a talent for investigation and the tenacity to unravel spider webs of lies, half-truths, and misdirection. In the process of focusing on others, she inadvertently discovers herself and realizes that she likes what she finds.
For his part, as Gabriel re-enters his quest to prove his client innocent, he does so with the single-mindedness of a thoroughbred race horse – head down, blinders on, eye on the prize. The funny thing about blinders however is the inability to see what is coming at your side. Working with Olivia on the case starts as a means-to-an-end for the defence lawyer with the dubious reputation. He never even considers the impact that one spoiled socialite could possibly have on his life until the new working arrangement becomes both a blessing and a curse for someone with so many dark secrets of his own.
The partnership gets off to a false start or two, but eventually they come to develop a tentative trust and respect for one another. Their relationship is a fragile thing that can either be irrevocably destroyed by mishandling or strengthened and grown over time to blossom into a beautiful new organism. Only time will tell if Gabriel will continue to be his own worst enemy.
While both characters work on their own issues other secondary characters begin to become fleshed out as well, adding depth and further complications to the mix. Every answer leads to a new question (or ten) as this first-class mystery series continues to grow and that is the true beauty of Cainsville. The suspense/mystery is the main storyline here, opening author Kelley Armstrong to an entirely new audience, while the paranormal elements are strong enough to keep current fans happily engaged at the same time.
As a series, Cainsville reminds me of the early Sookie Stackhouse books written by best selling author Charlaine Harris, but I believe that it may be even better. The ‘whodunit’ mystery of the serial killings is realistic enough to be a real-life case, while the paranormal elements add complexity without piling on the camp. The balance of mystery/paranormal/romance elements is just right – so right in fact that I can easily see Cainsville becoming Armstrong’s second series to be converted for the screen. While I wait for that to happen however I’ll happily keep reading. ...more