Signs in the Blood

Signs in the Blood

by Vicki Lane
4.5 7

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Signs in the Blood by Vicki Lane

Elizabeth Goodweather and her husband built a rewarding life in the hills and hollows of their adopted Appalachian home. But now Elizabeth is alone, her husband tragically killed, her children grown, the land around her filled with customs and beliefs she cannot share. It’s still a good life–tending the small herb and flower business–but Elizabeth’s fragile peace is about to be shattered.

Cletus Gentry vanished while hunting ginseng in the hills–and his mother is sure the childlike man was murdered. As Elizabeth retraces Cletus’s last wanderings, she will discover that a killer has been waiting all the while in the coves and hollows near her farm for her to see the light…and then come willingly to her own death.

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440335542
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/31/2005
Series: Elizabeth Goodweather Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 191,560
File size: 543 KB

About the Author

Vicki Lane lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter-in-law on a mountain farm in North Carolina. She has completed her second Elizabeth Goodweather novel and is at work on the third.

From the Paperback edition.

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Angie_Lisle More than 1 year ago
A 3-star start with a 5-star ending. Appalachian literature, a story within a story: modern-day Elizabeth is helping a neighbor try to figure out what happened to her son, while the memory of Sylvie, who once lived where Elizabeth lives, still clings to the landscape and the people who remember her. This technique helps convey the evolution of Appalachia from then to now. At first glance, the meandering descriptions and plot could appear to be the mistake of an amateur writer, which Ms. Lane was at the time of publication. The book starts slowly, with an overload of information that winds up being an illusionist's trick to redirect attention. As the story progresses, the writing style begins to multi-task (and, honestly, I'm impressed by the delivery). The story-telling mimics the shape of Appalachia, wandering about much like our creeks and roads, slowing one down to a pace more suited for this neck of the woods. The language and sentence structure is reminiscent of the mountain ballads - the old, dark ballads that ain't afraid to show some spilled blood. That's a clue about the whammy of an ending for little Sylvie's story but one I completely ignored because the modern-murders themselves are covered in the way that reminded me of a cozy mystery - brief and at a distance, no one has to clean up the blood. So when we find out what Mr. Tomlin did to poor little's a hard punch in the guts to see the matter laid out in plain sight and, when paralleled with the criminal activities that Elizabeth sees unfold, hints at a fear that is still present and active in the world today (and may be happening to some of the unmentioned victims of the story's modern crime, if one thinks about what could happen next, after this particular crime is committed - which sends shivers down the spine). I don't want to give spoilers but I will say this - people who are sensitive to fictional violence should avoid this particular book; however, I highly recommend this book to folks who love the old ballads and the bloody folktales attached to them. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
kd-did47 More than 1 year ago
Read this as part of my bookclub and thoroughly enjoyed it!  Likely wouldn't have picked it up on my own to read as it sounded more like a lightweight 'cosy' kind of mystery, but it had more depth and interest.  The portrayal of the mountain folk  and the passing of the old into new ways gave it good dimension.  Characters were well drawn and the mystery at the heart of the story was nicely done.  Now reading book 4 of this series and have passed them on to my MIL who is also enjoying them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I grew up in the area where the setting of this novel took place and know those churches were around but went to one myself. I especially liked the mountain dialect, and if I don't watch myself I find myself swinging back to that way of speech. My grandmother who raised me talked that way. It didn't take me long to suspect the correct person exposed in the end of the book. Very suspenseful.
SterlingSC More than 1 year ago
Really describes the Appalachain community near Slyva,Franklin area.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being a resident of NC and having spent all my Summers in the Blue Ridge Mtns, this book's synopsis sucked me and Vicki Lane's skillful writing kept me hooked till the end. I particularly like how she captured the essence of the Mountain folk without making them look stupid, instead showing their point of view. Can't wait to read her next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loved this book about murder and mystery in rural appalachia. I, myself, live very close to (I think) where she is talking about. The dialect she puts in her book is pretty close. She kept me guessing through the entire book who the killer was, and I was truly surprised when it was revealed. Strange book, at times, but all in all a good read, one that is hard to put down.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Over two decades ago, Elizabeth and Sam Goodweather moved to Ridley, Branch in the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains. Five years ago, Sam died, but Elizabeth had their two daughters to raise so had no time to mourn her loss though she missed her partner. Now Rosemary lives and works in Chapel Hill and Laurel in Ashville so the empty nest widow, in spite of her herb and flower shop and her nephew nearby, feels lonely especially with the recent death of her best friend who adopted her and Sam when they first arrived. --- A concerned Miss Birdie asks Elizabeth for help because she feels something bad has happened to her adult child Cletus Gentry since his pup came home alone with his bag. The sheriff ignores the concerns of the two women insisting that Cletus with the mind of a child has wandered off for days before even reaching the Tennessee line. While Elizabeth tracks Cletus¿ path, Miss Birdie¿s fears prove correct when a kayaker finds Cletus¿ corpse. However, Elizabeth¿s search places her in jeopardy by a soulless avenger who cleanses transgressions of others by dispatching them to the afterlife. --- SIGNS IN THE BLOOD is a terrific regional amateur sleuth mystery starring an interesting protagonist who keeps the plot focused and several eccentric secondary characters who provide an anchor to the area. The story line insures that the mountains and the heroine are fully developed before turning into a serial killing cozy (strange combo). Vicki Lane writes a top quality woman in peril tale that fans will like and want more treks up the Appalachia.--- Harriet Klausner