Number of pages: 486
Publisher: Random House Canada
Rating: ages 18 and up
Genre: Paranormal fantasy and crime
Notes: Omens is the first book in the Cainsville series
Notes about the author: Kelley Armstrong is known for her bestselling teen fiction, Otherworld series. Welcome to Cainsville is her new series.
Olivia Taylor-Jones is living the perfect life as the only daughter of a wealthy Chicago family married to a handsome CEO with political ambitions. But her life is shattered when she finds out that her parents adopted her, and Olivia’s real parents: two notorious serial killers, Todd and Pamela Larsen who are currently in incarceration. As the media arrive, Olivia is forced to run out of town away from her loved ones and hide, and ends up in a mysterious town called Cainsville. When Olivia arrives, she determines to find out whether her biological parents are innocent of the crimes. As Olivia and Gabriel Walsh, her former lawyer begin to investigate, they unravel strange mysteries and hidden secrets that Olivia unlocks using her hidden knowledge from her childhood. Little does she know that the people of Cainsville have plans of their own.
This book had me in chapter one. The mystery behind Olivia’s biological parents and her struggle to find answers about herself since she found her real identity, shows she’s conflicted between being Olivia Taylor-Jones or Eden Larson. But the real mystery is Cainsville, the small town were everyone knows everyone, including Olivia. As soon as she arrives after surviving a terrifying incident in Chicago, she is immediately drawn to the superstitious townsfolk and their dark, mysterious town. From the stone gargoyles in every block to the psychic across the street, everywhere there seems to be a hidden secret connected to strange omens Olivia keeps hearing in the form of childish rhymes. Is she hearing things or could this be a sign of suppressed memories from her childhood? Possibly, as she begins to learn and take advantage of her hidden abilities to foresee signs of dangerous and deathly encounters.
It seems that danger follows Olivia as she digs deeper to find answers about her parents, Pamela and Todd Larsen, and whether they are serial killers as Pamela insists they are innocent. Her investigation starts off as a wild goose chase, but with the help of her former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh (who may have a hidden agenda of his own), makes her research easier as they probe through the last murder.
Gabriel cares about Olivia as he protects her during their investigation. As they find the truth of the last murder, Gabriel continues to stay close to Olivia like a watchful guardian and is determined to see through to the end as they work together to prove her parent’s innocence. Her only companion and person she can thoroughly rely on, Olivia continues to trust Gabriel.
Once a spoiled, rich girl of a prestigious Chicago family, now a run-away from the media Olivia feels likes an exile. But she proves to be strong, intelligent, and reacts quickly even in the most difficult situations, proving to her family that she’s not as weak or vulnerable as they thought. But as she uncovers the truth of the last murder, Olivia realizes that she has bitten more than she chewed as more enemies continue to watch her every move in the dark, and one of them just gave her a startling warning that shakes Olivia’s nerves.
So many questions unanswered. Obviously, Armstrong wants us to be kept in the dark for her next sequel as she makes this into a new series. I’m definitely looking forward to her next book.
Welcome to Cainsville. Tread wisely.
My verdict: I give this book 5 hoots out of 5.