Thursday, February 17, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: The Diviner’s Tale

Title: The Diviner’s Tale

Author: Bradford Morrow
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

RRP: $32.99

ISBN: 9781848875715

Release Date: February 2011

Pages: 320


A mother experiences visions of a young girl's murder in this dark gem of a thriller...


Walking a lonely forested valley on a spring morning in upstate New York, having been hired by a developer to dowse the land, Cassandra Brooks comes upon the shocking vision of a young girl hanged from a tree. When she returns with authorities to the site, the body has vanished, leaving in question Cassandra's credibility if not her sanity. The next day, on a return visit with the sheriff to have another look, a dazed, mute missing girl emerges from the woods, alive and the very picture of Cassandra's hanged girl.

What follows is the narrative of ever-deepening and increasingly bizarre divinations that will lead this gifted young woman, the struggling single mother of twin boys, hurtling toward a past she'd long since thought was behind her. The Diviner's Tale is at once a journey of self-discovery and an unorthodox murder mystery, a tale of the fantastic and a family chronicle told by an otherwise ordinary woman.

When Cassandra's dark forebodings take on tangible form, she is forced to confront a life spiralling out of control. And soon she is locked in a mortal chess match with a real-life killer who has haunted her since before she can remember.

About Bradford Morrow

Bradford Morrow is the author of numerous acclaimed works of fiction and poetry, including Ariel's Crossing and Giovanni's Gift. He is also the founder of the literary magazine Conjunctions, which he has edited since 1981. He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2007 and is a professor of literature at Bard University.


The Diviner’s Tale is an unusual combination of mystery and the supernatural. The novel starts with a diviner, Cassandra Brooks, searching for water on a fairly remote property. After coming across a young girl, hung from a tree, she calls the police to report her finding. By the time the police arrive the body has disappeared. While this seems strange, the plot thickens when the police find a girl wandering in the woods who fits the description of the one Cassandra said she found hanging from a tree.

Morrow has written a mighty fine tale of suspense and thrills here with some well developed characters. The MC’s sons are written a bit above the age they are said to be, but that was easy to overlook with the many other great parts of this book.

Having never read any of Bradford Morrow’s books before, I found this one to be an excellent introduction to a new author. I will be on the lookout for other books by Morrow to purchase now and can see the author being added to my favourite list.

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