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Threads of Malice

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Threads of Malice (2005) Tamara Siler Jones

Holy crap. I had completely forgotten how dark this book is. I mean, extremely dark. Descriptions of torture and rape and then the murder of the victim. And by this we see the torture from the victim’s POV, not just Dubric seeing the results of the torture and murder.

Needless to say, I scanned those bits, because I just can’t read things that awful.

Yet I finished the book, because the mystery of the story was one I had completely forgotten, and I wanted to know what happened.

Dubric Byerly, head of security at Castle Faldorrah sees the ghosts of the murdered until their murderer dies. When a boy arrives at the castle pleading for help, Dubric, Dien, and Dubric’s two pages Lars and Otlee leave immediately. Dien because his family is in the area and his strength is often of help to Dubric who is getting on in years.

Unfortunately, when Dubric enters the range of the ghosts he is overwhelmed and must live with those consequences. However, one positive thing comes from this, which is that Dubric finally admits that he sees the ghosts of the murdered–a burden he has been carrying alone for years.

Another terribly sad part of the story is Dien’s father-in-law, a hat-maker who has gone mad–been mad since the death of his son Stuart.

Devyn waved and shuffled off, one hand trailing against the wall for balance.
“I’m sorry,” Sarea said, cleaning up Devyn’s mess. “He shouldn’t have said those things.”
Lars dismissed the apology with a shake of his head. “He shouldn’t have forgotten you, either. That’s a far worse crime than what he said about me.”
Sarea hung her head, dishes clattering into the washbasin. “It grows worse every time we visit. I don’t know how Mother manages.”
“Because I promised to. He’s still my husband,” Lissea said as she strode into the kitchen and poured a fresh cup of tea.

And we also see the grieving, whose sons have been murdered.

“Why didn’t he just tell me? Why did he have to go looking for it in the first place?”
“Because he was a curious, principled boy,” Dubric said gently. “He tried to help. Tried to stop it.”
She lowered her head. “Then it’s all my fault, isn’t it? I taught him to think and ask questions, to reason things out for himself. I insisted he care about his life, about others, about helping people. Because of my stupid principles he went looking for this damned pattern, and feared it enough to leave it behind as a message for me. And (unnamed), not wanting to lose a different clue, disappeared.”
Her chin quivered, and the last shred of strength fell. “I killed him. I killed my son and that sweet little boy.” She ripped the paper into tiny shreds. “My work, my Goddess-damned work and hopes for my son got him killed. If I’d been content to be poor, if I had kept my place, kept Braoin ignorant and raised him to expect no more from life, he wouldn’t be dead. And (unnamed) might not be lost.”
Dubric knelt before her and touched her hand, stilling its shudders. “Look at me, Maeve. Please.”
“You’re not supposed to be here,” she cried, slamming her free fist against the arm of her chair. “I’m supposed to grieve alone. My whole life I’ve been alone, except for Braoin. Now, when he’s gone, I’m not alone anymore? Why?”
“I am not going anywhere,” he said, grasping her fingers. “I promise. And I will find whoever did this to your family.”
“How could a mother kill her son?”
“You did not kill your son. You were a good mother. A fine mother. And you loved him.”
“That doesn’t matter now, does it? He’s still dead. Like all the others, he’s dead.” She drew her hand from beneath Dubric’s and curled away, crying.

As I said, parts of this book are extremely difficult to read.

Published by Bantam Spectra

Written by Michelle     Categories: Fantasy, Mystery, Re-Read     Comments (0)    

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