“Raven's Cove, a great mystery by Mary Ann Poll. Avoid it when winds are gusting to hurricane speed outside. No extra creepiness needed.”
“Bottom line: if you want a fun, Christian-fueled book where good triumphs over evil, then this is the series for you.”
I've just finished Mary Ann Poll's terrific mystery/horror tale, Ravens Cove. It took me a couple of minutes to return to this reality afterwards. Dispensing with a slow build-up to the mystery in the ravine at Ravens Cove, Alaska, Mary Ann plunges us into her intense, taut tale of the eternal Good versus Evil scenario, but does it in a way that takes over your mind and senses and draws you further into the story the more you read. I love a book that makes you forget you are reading and puts you into the action as if you are standing and watching it actually happening. In this case, that would involve watching evil beings that are reminiscent, to me, of H.P. Lovecraft's horrid characters. Lovecraft was the past master of tales of horror, and he overshadows Stephen King's work in my mind. Mary Ann's writing has a sensitivity and an instinctive way of creating in-your-face scenes that you might wish weren't quite so vivid at times. Her characters are well-formed and believable.
I plan to read her second in the series asap, but I might leave the light on afterwards.
Welcome to the Devil’s playground otherwise known as Raven’s Cove. This serene little Alaskan town is known for its ravens and its friendly people but no one knows about the demons that lurk everywhere. The town hosts two Christian churches but one is the Devil’s and one is God’s. Each church leader has a role to play in the scary upcoming events. A murder is the first overt indication that something is very wrong in Raven’s Cove. This murder frightens the citizens despite the town’s legends and history of gory murders in a nearby ravine. Josiah Williams comes to town with a message that demons can and will destroy their town if they don’t fight. No one listens at first but after the second murder, he can’t be ignored. A small group including Josiah, Sheriff Bart, Kat Tovslosky, Grandma Bricken, FBI Agent Ken Melbourne and Pastor Paul will have to go to the very gates of Hell to save their town. This short novel is reminiscent of Stephen King’s earlier works. Well written and interesting, people will race through the story to see who survives this brush with evil.
Mary Ann Poll’s Raven’s Cove is a highly entertaining ‘iconoclast’ mystery set in a fictional small town on the coastline of Alaska’s Cook Inlet. Having lived in Alaska for the better part of my adult life, I found myself reflecting upon a few of the small towns south of Anchorage, which I have visited over the years, wondering which of them Ms. Poll had patterned Raven’s Cove after. Hope, a former gold-mining town on the south shore of Turnagain Arm certainly came to mind. After re-reading Ms. Poll's 'Dedication,' I see Anchor Point is the locale from which Raven's Cove sprung.
Raven’s Cove becomes the unlikely battleground of good against evil when a handful of the good souls still inhabiting the town take on overpowering minions of Satan. Right from the onset of Ms. Poll’s story the reader is hooked by the mysterious demise of Sweeny Giles, a shipmate aboard Captain Cook’s HMS Resolution in May of 1778.
Jump ahead to October of 1998, the reader soon discovers a new corpse has mysteriously appeared on the mound of tundra above Ravens Ravine, soon to be followed by others—and these are not your average everyday corpses.
“I observed decayed flesh, yellow in color, oozing to the ground. The eyes were black, rotted, and a blood-consistency liquid of purple/black was draining from both eye sockets. The corpse was face up, missing all its teeth. The mouth stood open and I observed that the tongue was also missing.”
The young, beautiful and stalwart Kat “Kitty-Kat” Tovslosky, her cousin sheriff Bart Anderson, the mysterious old stranger Josiah Williams, the so-called ‘Pastor’ Paul Lucas, and the very unwelcome FBI agent Kenneth Melbourne from Anchorage join forces, aided by the sage wisdom of Kat’s Grandma Bricken, as they literally take on the minions of Lucifer in a battle to save the earth from eternal damnation.
Exceptional character development, a distinct knack for details and nuances of behavior, and a fast-paced well thought out plot development make this book hard to put down.
Step aside Stephen King, Alaska’s Mary Ann Poll is here to spin new tales of the super-natural and the ungodly, as her heroes and heroines take on the forces of evil on 'The Last Frontier.'