The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle
Fantasy, 321 pgs
Rating: (Good +)
First Sentence: The strangest memory of my childhood concerns my father’s disappearance.
Reason for Reading: This is my final selection for the TBR Challenge and the 2nds Challenge.
From the Publisher: Ever since his father disappeared when he was nine years old, Ian Kennedy has had a penchant for stories about missing people–and a knack for finding them. Now he’s a private investigator with an impressive track record. But when a woman enters his London office and asks him to find her lost daughter, Ian faces a case he fears he cannot solve–and one he knows he must.
Laura Lensky’s stunning twenty-one-year-old daughter, Peri, has been missing for over two years–a lifetime, under the circumstances. But when Ian learns the details of her disappearance, he discovers eerie parallels to an obscure Celtic myth–and to the haunting case that launched his career, an early success he’s never fully been able to explain. Though Ian suspects Peri may have chosen to vanish, his curiosity leads him to take on the search. Soon he finds himself drawing not only from the mysteries that have preoccupied his adulthood, but from the fables and folklore that pervaded his youth. What follows is a journey that takes Ian and those who care for Peri into the Highlands of Scotland, as the unknowns of the past and present merge in the case–and in their lives.
Comments: I first came across this book in a publisher’s newsletter two years ago and was intrigued by the premise and so scooped up a copy of the book quickly. But as often happens with my books, it sat on the shelf awhile, until the right moment came to give it a whirl. I actually ended up reading another of the author’s books first, Silver Bough, earlier this year.
As with Silver Bough, Lisa Tuttle eases the reader into the more fantastical elements of The Mysteries slowly. She weaves Celtic myth into her tale seamlessly, creating an intriguing and eerie story. The Mysteries is a fantasy novel and a mystery all rolled into one. Bit by bit, the author brings the pieces of the puzzle together, never failing to leave the reader in wonder and sometimes even in awe.
The characterizations seemed somehow murky at times with even the protagonist not being quite fully fleshed out. And yet, it seemed sort of fitting given the story. The fairies and their kin always seemed to lurk just beyond the mist or in the dark, and the author, even in when writing about the “real” world, was able to capture that sort of atmosphere, as if the two were not all that different, and yet still worlds apart.
I know so little about Celtic folklore, and yet Lisa Tuttle’s novels never fail to entice me and make me wish I knew more. The Mysteries did not captivate me quite as much as Silver Bough did; however, I definitely plan to read more by this author.
Favorite Parts: I especially enjoyed going back in time with Ian as he remembered his first visit to Scotland and his search for Amy. I took a liking to the character of Fred, and wanted to know more about her.
My second favorite part of the novel was when Laura and Ian are on their own, searching for Peri. Laura’s bag begins to move and what emerges was unexpected and yet so fitting. Everything that happened in the novel had a reason, even if the reason was not always clear.