Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #4.5
Published by Subterranean Press
Published on: March 31, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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The disappearing hitchhiker is one of the hoariest urban legends, and no one knows that better than Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer who grew up on folklore and myth. When author of books on the supernatural Patrick brings Gabriel a case of a hitchhiking woman in white who vanished on a country road after accepting a ride from a businessman, Gabriel knows the Cainsville elder is just trying to wheedle into his good graces. But Gabriel is a man in need of a mystery, one that will get him back into someone else’s good graces. His investigator, Olivia Taylor-Jones, has blown town supposedly on a simple vacation. But when she left there was a rift between them and…he misses her.
Gabriel is well aware the only thing Olivia loves more than a good mystery is a weird one, and this hitchhiker case more than fits the bill. As Gabriel digs into the story, he’s forced to face ghosts of his own and admit that the woman in white isn’t the only one who has lost her way.
With Lost Souls, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong weaves an unmissable novella-length tale connected to her fan-favorite Cainsville series.
Typically, I fall fast and hard for Kelley Armstrong’s writing, but her CAINSVILLE series has been the rare ugly duckling. Over the course of four books, my ratings have fluctuated between 3 and 5 stars, so where LOST SOULS was going to land on that spectrum was anyone’s guess. I’m pleased to say that it settled right smack in the middle which is the best place for a novella to be in my option because it means that first timers will enjoy it without having to have read the full length novels, and buffs will welcome the chance to hang with Olivia & Gabriel again before the final installment is published in August.
The story takes place on the tail end of Taylor-Jones’ vacation with Ricky which was the note that BETRAYALS concluded on. So, as I mentioned, this short isn’t an essential part of the main plot however, if you’re a stickler for doing things the chronological way, you’ll want to cram it in before the summer. This side plot does cross a couple of T’s though with regards to Gabe & Patrick’s relationship, how Walsh’s childhood steered him towards becoming a lawyer, and Rose’s background information on the “lady in white” ghosts in different cultures was a nice perk. All things considered, the mystery still led us on a merry chase, and I liked that Gallagher was mostly absent because it allowed the author to refine Gabriel’s internal monologue.
LOST SOULS was largely told from Gabe’s point of view which is something that I’ve been longing for since I started this series. He’s such a contrary character that you can’t help but want to pick his brain. I also hope that the trio being short one member was Armstrong’s way of foreshadowing what’s to come in RITUALS however, that’s probably just me reading too much into things seeing how I’m Team Walsh. Recommended for anyone who loves a good “crime-spree hat trick”.