"Veritas" is half murder mystery, half horror, with bits of love story and adventure thrown in to make it a compelling page turner.
Hester is blind and deaf and has heightened awareness of sound and smell. In fact, they are powers she holds because she is a Demi-god in Stonehenge, CO 1892. Raised as the only child in a wealthy family, she has everything she wants except the freedom to pursue the man she loves, Tom. She and Tom have the ability to communicate telepathically. And despite the restraints her parents put on her, she and Tom are lovers.
When one of the ghosts that constantly badgers Hester, clues her in on a new murder in town, her life is flipped upside down. And things get more complicated from there.
The first time I read anything from this book was for a first chapter online critique group. It read like a horror story and I was intrigued. It was just enough to horrify me but not gross me out. The character of Hester is what drew me in. She is so unique and strong, yet vulnerable. She stayed with me several days after I read.
The only critique I have is that some of the storylines are not resolved. But then again, this is the first in a series. At the same time, I wish they'd been addressed a little more.
I loved the setting. Stonehenge, CO! How did she come up with that? 1892. So very unique. I enjoyed the way Coleridge explores the senses with Hester. Everything has a unique smell, even emotions. The love triangle is not overbearing, which is always a relief for me. (I'm not opposed to romance. I just don't love romance novels.) The world building is well done with intriguing plot twists.
But the writing... its good. Good writing. This is an author who is not just a good story-teller but a student of the craft. I highly recommend this book and look forward to the next.
"The doctor leads me to a chair, smelling of everything good and normal in the world. Cinnamon, chocolate, cold wintry air, dried lavender, pine needles, healthy horseflesh, and a male body kept clean with the daily application of warm water and soap. It's an unbefitting thing to admit, but I could sit here and inhale Kelly for hours."