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Raven Talks Back
Raven Morressey is living the good life. Nice home, husband, three healthy children, and it's finally summertime, when life is again lovely in Valdez, Alaska. All this explodes one morning when builders, digging up her back yard, uncover a recently murdered headless, handless female body covered with scarification—hundreds of colored designs cut into the skin to resemble t ...more
(first published April 25th 2011)
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I loved Raven Talks Back. This terrific mystery combines elements of the mystical with good old-fashioned storytelling. The discovery of a headless, handless body found in Raven Morrissey's backyard starts a series of events that change her and her family's life forever. Her son is traumatized into silence, her husband's attitude is perplexing, and Raven thinks she losing her mind when she sees and hears things she couldn't possibly see and hear. Adding to the town's upheaval, two more similar m ...more
Raven Talks Back is a well-written contemporary mystery thriller. The setting is a town in Alaska and the time is summer. The author introduces Raven Morressey, writing first-person, alternating chapters with Police Chief Jack O’Banion in third person point of view. This works effectively because Raven isn’t seeing her life as others do. Raven wants to dwell only on the positive aspects of her life with her husband Red and their three children. When the body of a woman, headless and handless, is ...more
Raven Talks Back has a beautiful, lyrical opening that captures the mood of the Alaskan setting and draws you right in. Raven is a good character who gains strength as she finds her way through the mystery, her life, and her own shattered dreams. All the characters are deep and layered, people you can believe in even if you don't always like some of them. But the setting is magnificent. Ms. Anderson lets you breathe the air and smell the fresh pines in the wind. Her descriptions, which are never ...more
As a mystery, it was OK, and she certainly knew Vadez AK well, but she had the Native population as Yu'pik, which is a group of "Eskimo," rather than Chugachmiut, a group of Athabascan, which leads me to wonder about some of her other cultural references. I was disappointed.