Long Black Veil
Author: Jennifer Finney Boylan
Publication Date: January 9th, 2018
Publisher: Broadway Books
Synopsis: On a warm August night in 1980, six college students sneak into the dilapidated ruins of Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, looking for a thrill. With a pianist, a painter and a teacher among them, the friends are full of potential. But it’s not long before they realize they are locked in–and not alone. When the friends get lost and separated, the terrifying night ends in tragedy, and the unexpected, far-reaching consequences reverberate through the survivors’ lives. As they go their separate ways, trying to move on, it becomes clear that their dark night in the prison has changed them all. Decades later, new evidence is found, and the dogged detective investigating the cold case charges one of them–celebrity chef Jon Casey– with murder. Only Casey’s old friend Judith Carrigan can testify to his innocence.
But Judith is protecting long-held secrets of her own – secrets that, if brought to light, could destroy her career as a travel writer and tear her away from her fireman husband and teenage son. If she chooses to help Casey, she risks losing the life she has fought to build and the woman she has struggled to become. In any life that contains a “before” and an “after,” how is it possible to live one life, not two?
Weaving deftly between 1980 and the present day, and told in an unforgettable voice, Long Black Veil is an intensely atmospheric thriller that explores the meaning of identity, loyalty, and love. Readers will hail this as Boylan’s triumphant return to fiction.
I went into this book not really knowing what to expect. It wasn’t something I would normally read, but I wanted something a little different, and I thought that this might be exactly what I was looking for. I read it and found it to be pretty good – entertaining and suspenseful, and it really did keep me reading throughout the book.
There were a few spots in the book where I didn’t think that this was for me and I kind of wanted to put it down for a while and come back to it later, but as I kept reading I was able to get a newfound interest in those parts, and pressing through the slower areas of the book made me appreciate the faster paced, more entertaining areas more.
The characters were interesting – they all had their own personalities and none of them were flat or uninteresting at all. In fact, I found myself really drawn to their stories, and how they all fit in to the plot so well. Normally there are characters that I don’t like, especially when there are so many, but in this case, I only found myself liking them, so that was a plus.
The whole of the story was kind of weird, but not weird in a bad way. It’s something I’m glad that I read, although I was expecting something a bit more creepy or thrilling then it was.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.