The Truth of All Things

The Truth of All Things

by Kieran Shields


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307720276
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/27/2012
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 9.46(w) x 6.18(h) x 1.38(d)

About the Author

KIERAN SHIELDS grew up in Portland, Maine. He graduated from Dartmouth College and the University of Maine School of Law.  His first novel was The Truth of All Things. Shields continues to reside along the coast of Maine with his wife and two children.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This is a book that will appeal to readers who relish the intricacies of a Sherlockian plot….Strong characters and convincing historical detail make the novel work.” —Hallie Ephron, Boston Globe

“Maine has a fascinating new writer in Kieran Shields … whose dense and intriguing new novel … works its way into your bloodstream and takes you to dark places in New England history that will challenge your mind and shiver your skin.” – Maine Sunday Telegram
“Shields creates a pitch perfect atmosphere … Fans of historical thrillers will love ‘The Truth of All Things’ … a winner.” – The Associated Press
“A well paced and intriguingly contrived mystery … rollicking, entertaining, … The Truth of All Things has its own magic and once under its spell, it’s impossible to put down.” - Down East Magazine
“[An] outstanding debut … a gripping novel … Shields' characters are fascinating” – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Shields's stellar first novel plays ingenious variations on both the Holmesian omnipotent sleuth and the serial killer theme....Strong characters and a nively convoluted, intelligent plot bode well for any sequel."—Publishers Weekly (starred)

“The detailed historical information and the intricate mystery hold your attention to the last page in Shields’ startling debut.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Beautifully written and sprinkled with historical data….Shields, who is a native of Portland [Maine], offers meticulous research into the city’s history in this heart-pounding suspense that should delight any lover of period mysteries.”
Mystery Scene

"Kieran Shields has written a knuckle biting gothic mystery of ritual murder, revenge, and the harrowing heritage of witchcraft in New England. Readers will love exploring Shields' world of the eerie faces of nineteenth century Maine, from temperance societies to historical societies to whorehouses and everything in between. This rollicking tale puts an entirely new spin on the legacy of the Salem witch trials, and will keep lovers of historical fiction turning pages until the final gripping conclusion."
-Katherine Howe, New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

"This story brims with rich detail, the line between right and wrong smudged beyond recognition.  What a unique and claustrophobic world —- Maine at the turn of the 20th century —- but the ties to an unspeakable past are haunting and unmistakable.  It's a delight from start to finish.  A terrific story, told terrifically."—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Jefferson Key

"It is hard to neatly categorize this novel, and I think to do so would be to miss out on the riches of Shields's storytelling. At once a literary novel and a work of historical fiction, this book is also equal parts great mystery and page-turning gothic-thriller." - - BookBrowse

Customer Reviews

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The Truth of All Things: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read a lot of mysteries this book was unpredictable and still made sense the main characters remind me of Sherlock holmes and watson
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A cut above for historical murder fiction. Great detail with style and a touch of wit. Hard to believe a first novel is this good and have already ordered the new adventure.
Beamis12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Definitely held my interest, since I haven't stopped reading it since I picked it up. Set in 1892, in Portland, a prostitute is murdered and a newly appointed detective and a half Abenaki Indian profiler must team together to solve the case. New investigative techniques and a duo that slightly resemble Holmes and Watson, the Salem Witch hunts and an uncanny ability to make the reader actually feel that they are in this time period mark this series debut by a new author, nothing short of fascinating. Can't wait to see what this author comes up with next.
bookmagic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely seem to have a thing for historical mysteries and this was a great example. Archie Lean is the lead investigator of a gruesome murder. Perceval Grey is a criminologist using techniques new to the field and distrusted by Archie. They also get assistance from historian Helen Prescott, an expert in the Salem Witch trials. These characters together with a great plot and great writing made this book very enjoyable and a quick read. Highly recommended
dpappas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have been going back and forth in my mind between rating this a 2 or a 3. The main reason I decided upon giving the book a 3 was that it was a good book overall, it just wasn't a book for me. This book started off fairly interesting and I was really intrigued by how it all related back to the Salem witch trials but eventually I didn't feel much interest in the book.I am sad to say that some parts of this book seemed slow and a little bit boring to me. Even parts that had action and suspense in them seemed boring. By the end of the book I was almost exhausted by with this book. I just wanted to find out who was the murderer and didn't like the mess at the end. The ending just dragged on and it felt like the author just wanted to add more action to the book so he dragged the investigation on by making them think all these different people were the murderer.It wasn't a bad book, I just didn't love it.
dizzyweasel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I wanted to do a Vine review of this book because it was recommended for those who enjoyed The Lace Reader and the Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. This book was nothing like those novels.Meant to be Sherlock Holmes meets the Salem Witch Trials, The Truth of All Things begins with the murder of a prostitute. So throw Jack the Ripper in there too. Deputy Marshal Lean is called in to investigate, along with an eccentric former Pinkerton detective named Grey. He's a brilliant detective, like Holmes, who sees connections where others do not. Together the two get down to the business of investigation, with Dr. Stieg and his niece Helen, a librarian.In truth, this took me weeks to read. I found it slow, dull, and unengaging. I didn't particularly care for any of the characters and wasn't compelled to find out 'whodunnit'. I don't care for traditional mysteries, and had not realized this would be one of them. The comparisons to the books I mentioned above are inaccurate, as it has little in common with the style or tone of those novels. While many readers may really enjoy this detective story, I found it flat, and cannot recommend it to persons sharing my taste in novels. But don't let that deter you from trying this! Many other readers seemed to enjoy it.
karieh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿The Truth of All Things¿ was an enjoyable enough book ¿ and it got me through a week of being snowed in¿.As is true with many historical mysteries (for me) ¿ I did keep getting confused during the various twists and turns. There were too many details (oddly enough ¿ women¿s fashions were described down to the smallest detail) at the same time the characters made huge jumps in theory. One of the main characters, Perceval Grey, was enjoyable to read about, but was far too much like Sherlock Holmes. He had the disguises, the taking of the smallest detail to discern so much about a stranger that the stranger was shocked¿.etc.The history of the Salem Witch trials, anti-Native American hysteria, post-Civil War politics, and the temperance movement¿this book has it all. But the strongest part of the book for me was the character of Helen Prescott. At a time when women we just starting to made forward progress in the workplace, education and in politics (through the temperance movement), Prescott was interesting to read about and kept me going through some of the more muddled parts. While making very clear her thoughts and feelings, she retained just enough mystery to be interesting and to seem realistic.I would read more about her, but am not sure the rest of the story would compel me to continue reading if there were follow up books to ¿The Truth of All Things¿.
mikedraper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In 1892, in Portland, Maine, Maggie Keene, a prostitute, is found murdered. Her body was mutilated and it appeared to be a ritual killing.Archie Lean is a deputy marshall in charge of the investigation. He's assisted by Percival Grey a part Indian and Pinkerton agent. Grey is a well informed detective who uses modern methods of detecting.The author has a good talent for describing his characters and we get to know them although they are somewhat dry.Assisting them is Helen Prescott, a historian. She's an expert in the Salem witch trials and when other women are found murdered, she sees a similarity with the Salem witch trials. This makes the novel unique and interesting.The action moves along slowly as other clues are found but it all comes together nicely in an exciting climax.
RGazala on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Kieran Shields' superb new novel, "The Truth of All Things," brilliant but troubled private detective Perceval Grey is aptly named. Being of mixed American Indian and Caucasian racial heritages, he's forced to battle deeply ingrained late 19th century New England prejudices, even in his own family. Grey is indeed a gray man in the society he lives and works in -- neither an Indian, nor a white man, but straddling some murky, shifting ground in between. At times during an investigation of horrific murders tied to the infamous Salem witch hunts that happened 200 years earlier, Grey's mixed race is a valuable asset. Mostly, though, Grey finds himself forced to confront an array of bigotries to save the very people who belittle him from an unholy conspiracy that attempts to resurrect in their town's midst a long-dead evil.Grey's mannerisms and methodologies will quickly remind readers of those of his contemporary across the Atlantic, Sherlock Holmes. Grey's a keenly astute and dispassionate observer, as aware of the facts in front of him as he is of the ones not present that others around him mistakenly presume. Along with his colleagues, Portland Deputy Marshall Archie Lean, Dr. Virgil Steig, and Steig's niece the local librarian/historian Helen Prescott, Grey scours Maine and its environs for clues both ancient and fresh to stop the murder spree. From the moment a prostitute's body is found dead late one night in the middle of a massive machine shop, pinned to the ground by a pitchfork thrust through her throat, the detectives' investigations propel them from churches to brothels to libraries to graveyards to seedy bars to lunatic asylums via foot, trains and hansom cabs. Shields obviously did a lot of painstaking research to do such a great job deftly conveying settings in New England as they were 120 years ago. All of his main characters, good guys and bad, are multidimensional, and they speak in dialogue that's well written and authentic. In addition to those accomplishments, the book's plot is a nonstop careening ride from start to finish, crafted with enough breakneck twists and turns to keep readers guessing literally until the story's very end."The Truth of All Things" is one of the best books I've read in a while, and I'm happy at its conclusion Shields leaves room for the return of Perceval Grey in a future adventure. Until that sequel comes, mystery and thriller fans will do themselves a big favor treating themselves to this excellent debut work by a very talented new author.
mckait on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was obviously meant to be written in the style of a Sherlock Holmesstory, but I have to say that something is missing. I also found it to be very slow moving.I read a suggestion that this was a good read for those of us who enjoyed LACE READERand THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE. As one who read and enjoyed both of those books, may I say that might be a stretch?The only thing this has in common with the two books mentioned above is the Salem witch shenanigans. The story begins with a murder committed in Portland, Maine area in 1892. The story begins when a prostitute was killed, a pitchfork driven through her neck and her hand and tongue were removed. Her tongue was sent to the local investigatorsalong with a taunting missive. Deputy Marshall Lean and a Percival Grey are working together on solvingthe crime along with Dr Steig and his niece Helen, who is a libraian. Grey had been a Pinkerton detective and was possessed of remarkable powers of observation. Quite a few references are made to his Indian (Native American) ancestry. The killer is at first suspected to be an Indian, because of some writing left behind at the crime scene. Grey is finally forgiven his ancestry and allowed to continue investigating. This proves to be fortunate, as he is by far the superior and most open minded of those seeking the killer. Eventually the investigation begins to point to a possible connection with a the SalemWitch Trials which took place 200 years prior. The investigative team uses all the resources available to them to follow this lead. But they would be reminded to their sorrow, investigatinga crime can be a dangerous business, very dangerous indeed when dealing with a madman. Eventuallyand thankfully, things are brought to a close and a tragedy is averted. This is a period novel and in my opinion had a lot of potential, but it dragged so that I had a difficult time staying with it. Perhaps if it had moved a little more quickly, it would have been more enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shields' characters are well-developed and believable. Lean and Grey are an engaging team. The storyline is compelling and it grabs the reader's interest immediately. Please, Mr. Shields, indulge us with more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A compelling tale. Recommended
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book I've read this year.
PollyOH More than 1 year ago
Intriguing book, and anxious to read more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Locilake More than 1 year ago
this is one of the most boring books i have ever read.