Is there any better way to start a new year than reading an excellent book by the lovely Amy Harmon? No, I think not.
The Unknown Beloved may have been my first read of 2022, but it quickly became one of my favorites of the year.
It combines historical romance and mystery thriller with an age gap and a slow burn, written in Amy Harmon’s signature poetic prose.
Reading this book was an absolute pleasure from start to finish, and I had a hard time putting it down long enough to function as a normal human.
The storyline follows a beautiful journey into the heart of a saintly treasure named Dani, who uses her supernatural gifts to give names to the indigent dead in the downtrodden times of the 1930s.
Juxtaposing Dani is the threat of an evil serial killer who is taunting police with his cleverness and cunning.
Then there is Michael, the mysterious government agent tasked with finding The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run and has a history with Dani, making this the perfect way to bring them together once again.
While the sordid details about the murders are shared, it doesn’t in any way take away from the beauty of the relationship between Dani and Michael.
Both have seen hardships in their lives, but Dani’s inherent light and goodness rescue Michael from his life of self-imposed loveless isolation.
Their growth throughout the story is so believable and heartwarming; I wanted to read about them long after the book ended.
As with several of Amy Harmon’s other books, historical figures and events are prominent within the plot, this time the infamous Elliot Ness of Al Capone fame. I love how she weaves history and pearls of wisdom on the state of humanity into her storylines.
The Unknown Beloved is a book that absolutely needs to be on your TBR for 2022!
Thank you for the advanced copy of THE UNKNOWN BELOVED by Amy Harmon. All opinions are my own.
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date published : April 19, 2022
pages : 413
audiobook narrator: Rob Shapiro
audiobook length: 14 hrs, 55 min
Chicago, 1923: Ten-year-old Dani Flanagan returns home to find police swarming the house, her parents dead. Michael Malone, the young patrolman assigned to the case, discovers there’s more to the situation—and to Dani Flanagan herself—than the authorities care to explore. Malone is told to shut his mouth, and Dani is sent away to live with her spinster aunts in Cleveland.
Fifteen years later, Michael Malone is summoned to Cleveland to investigate a series of murders that have everyone stumped, including his friend and famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, now Cleveland’s director of safety. There, in a city caught in the grip of a serial killer, Malone’s and Dani’s paths cross once again.
Malone is drawn to Dani and her affinity for the dead and compassion for the destitute. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that she could help him solve his case. As terror descends on the city and Malone and Dani confront the dark secrets that draw them together, it’s a race to find the killer or risk becoming his next victims.
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