Book review stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for Behind the Veil, a gothic novel written by E.J. Dawson.
First thing first, let me thank Lilyan and the publisher, Literary Wanderlust, for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Much obliged *hat tip*
MEET THE BOOK
Can she keep the secrets of her past to rescue a girl tormented by a ghost?
In 1920s Los Angeles, Letitia Hawking reads the veil between life and death. A scrying bowl allows her to experience the final moments of the deceased. She brings closure to grief-stricken war widows and mourning families.
For Letitia, it is a penance. She knows no such peace.
For Alasdair Driscoll, it may be the only way to save his niece, Finola, from her growing night terrors. But when Letitia sees a shadowy figure attached to the household, it rouses old fears of her unspeakable past in England.
When a man comes to her about his missing daughter, the third girl to go missing in as many months, Letitia can’t help him when she can’t see who’s taken them.
As a darkness haunts Letitia’s vision, she may not be given a choice in helping the determined Mr Driscoll, or stop herself falling in love with him. But to do so risks a part of herself she locked away, and to release it may cost Letitia her sanity and her heart.
Gothic, horror, romance
Publication date: 01/10/21
READ MY REVIEW
Cover: So atmospheric.
Behind the Veil is a slow book, centered on Letitia Hawking and her gift: she’s a psychic, able to experience the last moments of a person before they die. Her peculiar ability renders her both dangerous and vulnerable.
The plot is not as linear as I would have thought in the beginning–good!–as it follows a series of twists and turns, weaving together three major subplots: Letitia’s past, Finola’s story, and the missing girls. I’ll admit I didn’t foresee all that, something that made for a pleasant surprise.
The MCs are unsympathetic, at least to a point. This seems to be a trend lately, one I support from the bottom of my heart, as it’s the basis for crafting interesting characters. Letitia and Alasdair have their own demons to fight and they’re both complex characters; plus, in Letitia’s case, there’s also a healthy dose of self-preservation to add to the mix. The altruistic hero trope is watered down in Behind the Veil, resurfacing only 3/4 of the story in and with little saccharine anyway.
Nice cast of characters. I’m not that impressed with Abby, because she tends to read over the place rather than emotional or worried, but all the others are consistent and support the MCs’ journey through the book. Imogen and Mrs. Finch stand out the most. Last but not least, I have to mention the romantic element: kudos because it’s a subplot and it’s treated as such. No sudden romance that saves the day, no swooning for each other and forgetting about the more pressing matters at hand.
Flaws? Behind the Veil is a slow story, as I already mentioned, and that’s a precise stylistic choice. Per se, it’s not a flaw. However, there’s a thin line between slow and dragging, a line that gets crossed around the ending. The final showdown should have been written with more pep—that part is supposed to be all action.
Too much pondering and evaluating when lives are on the line? That’s when realism takes a hit.
4 stars on GR.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Beginning a writing journey with an epic 21 book series, Ejay started her author career in 2014 and has taken on the ups and downs of self-publishing with her fantasy series The Last Prophecy since 2016. At the start of 2019, she put the series on the backburner to write Behind the Veil in 25 days, and signed a publishing contract for the gothic noir novel to independent publisher Literary Wanderlust. Behind the Veil is set for release on the October 1st 2021. She resumed self-publishing a scifi series, Queen of Spades released across 2020 and 2021, as well as signing another contract with Literary Wanderlust for NA fantasy, Echo of the Evercry. Believing in more than one path to a career in publishing, Ejay pursues self-publishing alongside querying traditional publishers with multiple manuscripts.
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