I recently stepped into the world of book reviewing for the first time, and have enjoyed many good books. It played out that Flame Tree Press was the publisher whose books I read the most of. The Dark Game, Black Wings, and The Haunting of Henderson Close were all great stories, and I’m thankful Flame Tree gave me the chance to read and review the ARCs of those novels. When I started the fourth ARC I received from them, I anticipated another well-written, engaging horror story that would make it to my permanent bookshelf. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I began reading Second Lives by P.D. Cacek, wondering what kind of scares awaited me within the novel. By the time I was halfway through, the scares had yet to show up, and I wondered if maybe this was going to be a slow burn, leading to an immensely creepy and horrific climax. I kept reading and next thing I knew, I finished the last page and set the book down. I glanced at its cover, and realized I had been taken in by one of the cleverest and most misleading covers I’d encountered: A pair of hands covering a face, with an eyeball gazing out from the back of one of the hands. Creepy image. Second Lives, however, was clearly, unequivocally, not a horror tale. Except for one minor scene around the middle of the book, there wasn’t even a whiff of anything creepy, dark, scary or eerie.
None of that mattered. When I set the book down on my desk, after finishing the story, my eyes were wet from the emerging tears. I was profoundly moved by the tale, and had found myself silently tearing up several times throughout the read. Second Lives is a powerfully emotional story of love, loss, and second chances, and it hit this middle-aged Irish-Italian’s heart like a ton of bricks.
Four people die. Four people wake and look at the world around them through new eyes, their bodies inhabited by other spirits. Four people begin new journeys.
That’s all I’ll say about the story itself. I don’t want to give any spoilers, and I think everyone who reads this should begin the voyage blind. Just pick up the book and let P.D. Cacek lead you down the path of her story. Make sure to have a box of Kleenex handy; you’ll need it at more than one point along the trail.
Now go. Get yourself a copy of the novel and give it a read today. You won’t be disappointed. It’s available through Amazon and through Flame Tree Press, in paperback, hardcover, and for the Kindle. Flame Tree Press also offers it as an audio-book.
Disclaimer: I was sent an advance reading copy of the book by Flame Tree Press in exchange for an honest review. I received no money or any other compensation for the review, and the opinions stated therein are my own.