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.'