Stacy's Reviews > The Dead Travel Fast

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
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Mar 09, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: other-supernatural
Recommended to Stacy by: Karolina Chmiel
Read from March 08 to 09, 2010

There wasn't anything particular about the style or the content that I could single out as being alluring, but this drew me in from the start and moved quickly, keeping my attention rapt from start to finish. What starts as a gothic romance turns on its heel to become a murder mystery steeped in suspicion that I daresay recalls du Maurier's Rebecca.

The main character, Theodora, is strong and fierce in her grasp of feminism - determined not to lean on anyone but to make her living by way of her writing. She is confronted with the prospect of marrying a man she respects but does not love, and instead opts out of marriage entirely, desirous of making a name for herself as an authoress. She is given the chance to work on her book when a friend from her younger days requests her presence at her imminent marriage. Upon arrival, she discovers the marriage is not to take place, and her friend expresses relief; thus planting the seeds which Translyvanian folklore fosters into a miasma from which the threads of fiction and fact are hard to differentiate. Little clues planted from the beginning steer the reader exactly as the author desires, from one suspicion to the next, and even Theodora's scientific mind is rocked by her own growing feelings for one of the potential suspects. The author never concludes one way or another in the matter of several aspects of fact vs. fiction - instead lending the reader a feeling that is it not necessary to KNOW, just to accept the beliefs of a people whose minds will not be swayed by one dissenter.

The plot may not be overly complicated, but the delight of reading something that engaged me so throughly more than makes up for any lightness elsewhere. And certainly there are enough little sprinkles of character development that even though one may not pull it together until the end, nothing can be said as a surprising or unexpected turn from any of the characters - everything has built towards this end, even if you didn't know it as you read.
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