It’s 1920s New York City. It’s flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It’s after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it’s the opportunity to party like never before.
For Evie O’Neill, it’s escape. She’s never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she’s shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she’s always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be.
But New York City isn’t about just jazz babies and follies girls. It has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren’t crimes of passion. They’re gruesome. They’re planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can’t solve them alone.
Evie wasn’t just escaping the stifling life of Ohio, she was running from the knowledge of what she could do. She has a secret. A mysterious power that could help catch the killer – if he doesn’t catch her first.
Libba Bray is the New York Times bestselling author of The Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing); the Michael L. Printz Award-winning Going Bovine; Beauty Queens, an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist; and The Diviners series. She is originally from Texas but makes her home in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, son, and two sociopathic cats.
This is another recommendation from my go-to-guro Vicci Thomas, goddess of all things Audible and recommender of some absolutely incredible books so far.
The Diviners is the first in a trilogy set in 1920’s New York and when I read the blurb above I immediately spent my monthly audio credit and settled down to listen, noting it was 18 hours long and anticipated it would take me about a week and a half to get through. How wrong was I? Once I started I found myself unable to stop and for the first time in a LONG time, I actually stopped reading books on my kindle and just listened to this instead.
A huge shout out to the incredible narrator January LaVoy who brought Evie O’Neill to life that she slowly inched her way under my skin and for a few days I was transported to New York in 1926.
Evie is a fascinating character, she is feisty, confident, determined, ballsy and has a way with words that at first “ab-so-lut-ley” “pos-i-tute-ly” are annoying, but gradually this 17 year old party girl with a secret ability wins the readers/listeners heart.
With a huge cast of characters, The Diviners is about a gruesome serial killer who is targeting unconnected victims in New York, leaving no clues and the police baffled. With elements of the supernatural, Evie and her uncle William Fitzgerald who runs the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult (often referred to by New Yorkers as “the Museum of Creepy Crawlies”) are asked by the police to assist in catching the murderer.
The book has been categorised in the Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal genres, all of which don’t usually interest me, however the way I raced through this first book proves I thought it was “the cat’s pyjamas” and will be downloading the rest of the series as soon as I can .