Sam Hawthorne has lived a nomadic life, wandering through small Midwestern towns for the past two decades. He is known among the people he meets as an oddity and a troublemaker. He has a secret, however; one that has given him the chance to help dozens of people over the years. But that secret has also created a trail, and now someone with violent intentions has begun to follow it.
Forced to run for his life, Sam returns to his hometown for the first time since the death of his family. There, Roger Sandbrook - old family friend and local history professor - welcomes him in and gives him aid. Sam quickly learns that he isn't the only one with secrets, however, and that Roger just might be the only person who can help him.
From the tired small towns of the Midwest to the streets of historic Salem, Sam's journey will carry him through painful memories and across centuries of forgotten history. But ask the questions stack up, will he also find the answers he needs?
©2015 Aaron Mahnke (P)2015 Aaron Mahnke
"Longtime Lore Listener, Sorely Disappointed"
Aaron Mahnke's Lore podcast is brilliant. Thoughtful, fascinating, and truly robust in it's content. This was quite the opposite. Written almost like a film script, the style was too simplified with only the occasional literary description to brighten up and otherwise tedious plot. But worse than that was the narration. West seems to be rushing through every word, and the characters' vocal expression often seemed inappropriate or inconsistent. I'm hoping this was not his best work. Was so looking forward to several hours of the great storytelling I enjoy in Mahnke's podcast, but alas, couldn't wait for this tale to end. Better luck next time.
"A fun, if unpolished, read."
Despite a charming and refreshingly emotional main character in Sam Hawthorne, this story suffers from dialogue that's not always natural or convincing, and noticeably repetitive word choice. I was drawn in by the mystery, but the resolution was incomplete, with a sequel hook that felt more frustrating than promising. Also, frankly, there was a disturbing lack of women in the story, and one of the two prominent women was characterized as a blabbermouth and caused trouble for Sam.
This sounds like I'm ragging on the book more than I actually intended. I did enjoy it! But the things I liked are a bit harder to pinpoint than the problems I had. Looking back, the whole story just seemed like it needed some more thorough editing and maybe some rewrites. I did absolutely love the metaphysical fun that happened, and I was intrigued by Roger's history and biology 'lessons'.
As for the actual performance, I was entirely thrown off by Terence West's reading. His cadences were bizarre, with dramatic pauses in inappropriate moments and emphasis placed on confusing words. Near the beginning, there were even a few moments where it was really obvious that they cut in the middle of a sentence, as if Mr West did two different reads and they needed to splice them together. It took me forever to get used to, and even then I was occasionally taken out of the experience by unusual moments, like how he frequently failed to give proper pause between description and dialogue. He did a good job with Sam's more emotional moments, but for the bad guys? His 'growly', menacing voice was embarrassing to hear, and not at all evocative of the intended feelings.
"Aaron Mahnke proves he is the king of story telling"
Absolutely loved the story. Can't wait for the sequel! If you enjoy stories that refer to American history (especially the Salem witch trials), you'll enjoy this story.
"He's my new favorite ..."
The story is gripping, I liked the historical tones and the ending leaves room for a series... Love this guys work... Love his pod casts... If you like suspense and 'scary' content... Get it. ⭐️
"Very good suspense story."
Loved the whole book, it was full of suspense. the author nailed this story fully.
I found the story well written and just the right amount of fantasy and science. My only gripe would be that book 2 is not available on audible yet.
"I want part 2"
I immensely enjoyed it, but it left me wanting more. Please tell me there will be at least one more, or perhaps a trilogy. Also, if you could make the next one about 12 hours minimum, that would be great. I love this character and the world created around him, and 8 hours just isn't enough. Now I'm gonna go listen to some more Lore podcast to fill the time. Keep up the good work.
"Surpassed my expectations!"
Lore Podcast brought me here. as a long time Lore listener I was intrigued. This is not the type of book I would normally read but after 2 chapters I was hooked. My only complaint is that I wish it would have been read by the author.
Grave Suspicion was fantastic I enjoyed every minute of it, and I hope that one day I will be able to see it as a movie. Aaron Mahnke is an amazing writer and I am a huge fan of his podcast Lore.
"A good story to be sure"
This was a decently engaging story! I've listened to the Lore podcast since the beginning and I was excited to get into this book.
I do wish it would have been narrated by Aaron himself, but it was still overall enjoyable.
Parts are rather predictable, and I called quite a bit of the story (only because I know way too much about witches and their history, also I read and write mysteries with supernatural twists as well).
But it was enjoyable and I'll be getting the rest of his books as well.
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