Michael's Reviews > Tethered

Tethered by Amy MacKinnon
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Feb 10, 2010

it was amazing
Read in February, 2010

Amy MacKinnon's debut novel is part murder mystery, part thriller, and part character study revolving around one intriguing heroine. Clara Marsh is an undertaker who is more comfortable among the dead than the living. She works Linus, the kind, generous man who runs the funeral home and who, along with his wife, have taken Clara under their wing. Then there's Mike, the local police detective, still grieving over the loss of his wife, and still haunted by the unsolved, grisly murder of a young girl dubbed Precious Doe. When a young girl named Trecie shows up at the Funeral Home, ingratiating herself into Clara's interest, new questions about Precious emerge.

MacKinnon's story is taut and engrossing, and sure to be a hit with mystery fans, but the power of her storytelling is surely in the creation of such memorable characters as Linus, Mike and most especially Clara. We learn about Clara slowly, and although her story is dramatic and emotionally wrought, MacKinnon avoids hysteria and melodrama. Instead, there's a little bit of each of us in Clara that we are sure to recognize. Add to that MacKinnon's masterful command of the English languages, and Tethered is a real winner.
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