Thursday, April 06, 2017

Review: The Halo Effect by Anne D. LeClaire

Title: The Halo Effect
Author: Anne D. LeClaire
Published: April 2017, Lake Union Publishing
Format: Paperback, 348 pages
Source: Publisher

In this tour de force, a father, shaken by tragedy, tries to avenge his daughter’s murder—and restore his family’s shattered life.

It was supposed to be a typical October evening for renowned portrait artist Will Light. Over dinner of lamb tagine, his wife, Sophie, would share news about chorus rehearsals for the upcoming holiday concert, and their teenage daughter, Lucy, would chatter about French club and field hockey. Only Lucy never came home. Her body was found, days later, in the woods.

The Eastern Seaboard town of Port Fortune used to be Will’s comfort. Now, there’s no safe harbor for him. Not even when Father Gervase asks Will to paint portraits of saints for the new cathedral. Using the townspeople as models, Will sees in each face only a mask of the darkness of evil. And he just might be painting his daughter’s killer.

As Will navigates his rage and heartbreak, Sophie tries to move on; Father Gervase becomes an unexpected ally; and Rain, Lucy’s best friend, shrouds herself in a near-silent fugue. Their paths collide in a series of inextricably linked, dark, dangerous moments that could lead to their undoing…or to their redemption.

My thoughts: This book showed up on my doorstep unsolicited, yet I couldn't help but be intrigued. Something about the cover and the summary called to me...and I am so glad I went with my instincts and read it. I really ended up really liking this one, a lot!

This book was definitely not what I thought it would's so much more than just a murder mystery. It's the way that those affected by the murder of a young teenage girl deal with their anger and grief. It's raw and haunting, filled with palpable emotions and well-developed characters, experiencing pain that is so palpable.

There was one particular sentence, or rather fragment of a sentence that stuck with me and really resonates with me:

But the thing that struck me about the story the first time I read it is...

How many times have you read a book one time and come away with one meaning and then read the book again and come away with another meaning? I think this could be that type of book. This is a thought-provoking book. It looks at how one deals with loss and the way there are ordinary miracles all around us in the every day world.

The writing in this book is at times lyrical, so very descriptive and palpable. It's intense, yet it's also haunting. You get lost in the story, despite the heaviness to it. This is the first time I've read Anne LeClaire but it certainly won't be the last. And I will certainly be keeping this particular book on my shelf to reread again - this story is one I won't be forgetting anytime soon, but I think with another read, there is more to gain.



  1. I really like the sound of this and can definitely see why it pulled you in. I love the cover! I think I may skip this one because I don't deal well with the death of children but I really want to check out LeClaire's other books.

  2. OH I love your review of this book.


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