All These Bodies by Kendare Blake
Summer of 1958 and the Midwest is horrified by a murder spree known as the Bloodless Murders. Sixteen bodies drained of their blood have been discovered without a hint to the perpetrator. The last murders, a family in a small town, has one clue – a fifteen-year-old girl, covered in blood, abandoned by the killer themselves. In All These Bodies by Kendare Blake the real mystery comes after as the girl, Marie Catherine Hale, begins to tell her story to the son of the Sheriff and aspiring reporter Michael Jensen. What she relays brings up more questions than answers and will ask Jensen to believe in the impossible.
“Tell the truth and shame the devil. I always thought that would be easy. But what do you do when the truth you’re faced with also happens to be impossible?” – All These Bodies, Kendare Blake
Reading All These Bodies by Kendare Blake I was reminded of a fireside story that would be told to give everyone a good scare on Halloween. There are moments of true creepiness, but they are brief. I found the book easy to read and get through. It kept me interested to the end even though I didn’t feel like it had a good resolution. Part of the creepiness was the lack of definitive answers.
If you’re looking for Blake’s signature brutality that she shows in the Three Dark Crowns series, you won’t find it here. While the setup for the novel is gruesome, none of the brutality happens during the story, rather “off-screen” before the story begins. In some ways, this reads more like a true-crime retelling than a brutal story itself.
I happened to like the protagonist. He was a good foil to Marie Catherine Hale and was positioned well within the community. The book does start with the murder of one of his close friends though, and Blake wrote the sadness of that well.
I recommend All These Bodies by Kendare Blake if you want a creepy & atmospheric horror story
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