Customer Reviews for

Penumbra

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(17)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted November 17, 2011

    Good southern mystery

    I would give this 3.5 stars for the ending, but I enjoyed the book overall, so I bumped it to a 4. Haines did a wonderful job depicting the south and racial influences of the past. Though highly disturbing at times because our world has become so modern when it comes to bi-racial relationships, the detail in writing is what took me back to a place in time where these kind of incidences occurred. I feel let down by the ending; the story was stopped very short; almost as if the writer was on a deadline and just had to put words on paper to turn it in and publish it. I would hope for a sequel to answer some questions and perhaps focus on the new relationship that begun between Jade and Frank.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    I Want More!!

    When I finished this book, I wanted something I usually avoid...a sequel. The characters are so well developed they seem real and you want to know more and more about them. Good job, Ms. Haines. I really, really liked this one, and will now read the Bones series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    Read this book!

    Having long been a fan of Haines' "Bones" mystery series, I was excited to get my hands on Penumbra. And WOW, I was not disappointed. This was a much darker story that illustrated in heart breaking clarity the oppressive and stifling environment the 1950's deep South could be. Forbidden love, societal pressures, intense savagery born from hate and greed, gripping suspense....it's all in here and I was deeply affected by the strength and courage of some characters contrasted to the cowardice and pure ugliness of others. In all honesty I wasn't completely satisfied at the story's end because I was left wanting just a little more but I know that in reality there isn't always the "happily ever after" that we all tend to hope for. Ms. Haines definitely has a talent with words and creating characters that I can really grab ahold of. This story may haunt me for a while.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2008

    Better written than previous reviewers think...

    I don't know why the first two reviewers either disliked this book or were lukewarm about it. I loved it, though the beginning was a bit slow. It was a mystery, but what I loved most about the novel were the well-developed characters. The story is set in 1952 Mississippi, with characters both white and black, with the central character a mulatto woman, Jade. I felt that the meshing of all the characters, various secrets, and the various mysteries that came together in the end were all well done. I do agree with one other reviewer that felt the ending was a bit rushed and disappointing. It more or less begged for a follow-up novel to settle some of the ragged ends and questions you were left with. That would be my only problem with this book, but it was well worth the read, even though it is not light and fluffy like Haines' 'Bones' series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2006

    Great Mystery

    This book is great! Eventhough the subject of the book is sometimes taboo, Haines' characters and setting rang true for me. Black and white relations in the South had to clash somewhere and this book is it. The mystery and supernatural elements of the story kept me going until the very end. I can't wait for the sequel ( and I told the author so). This book could very well be a 5 star rating if there is a follow up but by itself, it leaves me to wonder at the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    lighthearted amusing paranormal mystery

    In the 1950s in Drexel, Mississippi, the color barrier remains rigidly in place with each race understanding their sphere. Jade Dupree is raised by her black adopted parents, Jonah and Ruth, although her biological mother is the very socially powerful white Lucille. Jade¿s half sister Marlena is married to the wealthiest and most powerful figures in town, Lucas Bramlet. Marlena treats Jade like a servant paying her for services rendered including watching her daughter Suzanna. --- Marlena accompanied by Suzanna meets her lover, a traveling salesman, by the river. However, men wearing masks attack them. Marlena is rushed to the hospital while Suzanna has vanished. Jade is there watching over Marlena but her husband is at home waiting for a ransom.. Jade has to be careful as some whites feel she needs to be reminded of her place and she has to be careful of the Peeping Tom who is stalking her. --- Carolyn Haines known for her lighthearted amusing paranormal mysteries has taken a 180 degree turn around with this dark foreboding historical suspense thriller. Readers see how bad things can get for Blacks living in a 1950¿s deep South small town even for a woman who could easily pass as white. The audience becomes absorbed with the historical tidbits, but soon the question of who assaulted the mother and daughter takes center stage especially in light of a spouse who does not seem to care what happens to his wife and daughter and whether Jade faces retribution for breaking the color barrier. Ms. Haines writes a strong period piece. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    Enjoyed

    Twists & turns. Shocking reveals, sad, held my interest. 238 pages

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    great!

    Highly recommend!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    Best book I have read in a long time

    This is one of the best books I have read in some time. The characters were well developed and interesting. The plot was exciting from beginning to end. The writing was great. I have nothing bad to say. It was a great read and I highly reccomend it.

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  • Posted February 21, 2012

    Good Read

    This mystery was a good read. It is set in the post WWII segregated south which adds depth to the story.

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  • Posted January 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed for Midwest Book Review

    Post World War II, Jade Dupree owns her own beauty shop and is also the undertaker’s assistant in the small Southern town of Drexel, Mississippi. Jade is half-black, her white mother Lucille Longier having handed her over to her black handyman and his wife to raise. Jade’s white half-sister Marlena is married to Lucas Bramlett, the wealthiest man in Drexel. Although Jade’s skills as a hairdresser are sought after by the rich, white women of Drexel, she understands she will never be considered anything but black and these women are not above pointing this out. When Marlena is brutally raped and her daughter disappears, Jade begins to spend time with her sister, hoping to find out who raped her and where her daughter is. Sheriff’s deputy Frank Kimble is investigating the case and he and Jade share an attraction for one another which Frank is more than willing to pursue but Jade reluctant.

    Haines excels at portraying the temperamental atmosphere of a small Southern town’s racial infrastructure. There is a melancholy cast to the story, told from Jade’s point of view, that brings to heart the biases blacks faced during that era, as well as the prejudices some held against whites and their own race. The mystery isn’t a complex one and more tertiary to the story than the complexities of and interactions between characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Another winner

    Ms. Haines has done it again. A Southern murder mystery set in a time period of the past. I recommend this book highly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    Recommend for Southern Mystery Lovers.

    The title is your first and overlying clue to an intricate murder mystery. Webster's Collegiate says, in part, "something that covers, surrounds, or obscures." Seek for the center that holds despite the temptation to seek for the center in what actually obscures.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Jade and Marlena Are Great New Characters!

    Shame on Carolyn Haines publishers! This book is just as good as the Sarah Booth Delaney series but due to lower sales, they are not publishing the follow up to this wonderful book. I emailed Carolyn Haines because I liked this one so much. If you are hesitant about reading this one just because it's NOT a Sarah Booth book - be forewarned that you are missing out if you don't read this book. I want to know what happens to Marlena and Jade.......you will too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2006

    Good Ideas that Go Nowhere

    The premise, the setting, and the characters are promising. Unfortunately, the author has no idea what to do with them. Worst of all, the ending is rushed, wrapping a tidy if unsatisfactory bow around the many loose ends. Just plain poorly written.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
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