Go to Homepage   Arline Chase: Killraven

  Crescent Blues Book Views

Three moon gifE-books on the Net (ebook)
Killraven tells the engaging story of Hope Voeschell and her experiences on Killraven Island, an isolated island off the Maryland shore. Growing up as a Child of the New Covenant, a religious sect devoted to non-violence, ill prepared Hope for life in the harsh realities of 1897 Baltimore. Lacking the resources to make her own way in the city, Hope lands like so much flotsam on the shores of Killraven Island, completely dependent on the charity of island's inhabitants.  

The unique Chesapeake Bay lifestyle emphasizes Hope's position as a stranger in a strange land. A growing attraction to DeCoursey Rogers (Killraven's resident rake) and a rash of mysterious deaths further complicates Hope's new life. For different reasons, neither Hope nor DeCoursey trust strong emotions, and they find the prospect of love almost more frightening than murder. 

Chase carefully crafts the story of Killraven to deliver a strong image of life in circa 1900 rural Maryland. She draws the characters in such detail that we know their thoughts and feelings before they do and we read in anticipation of the next event. She uses dialog rich in colloquialisms so that we even hear the voices of these people as their lives unfold before us. 

I only regret that we do not learn more of Hope's life before she emerges on the pages of Killraven. I believe that more time should be devoted to further exploration of the life of a Child of the New Covenant. The residents of Killraven Island seemed well acquainted with this religious sect but as a reader I felt as if I were scrambling for clues to her religious foundation. Chase does not appear to be hiding this information, simply not supplying it. On the whole, though, I greatly enjoyed traveling to Killraven Island and look forward to Chase's next novel. 

Heather Firth

Click here to share your views.