January 20, 2022

#BookReview: All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

Synopsis: Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation.

Summer 1958—a string of murders plagues the Midwest. The victims are found in their cars and in their homes—even in their beds—their bodies drained, but with no blood anywhere. 

September 19- the Carlson family is slaughtered in their Minnesota farmhouse, and the case gets its first lead: 15-year-old Marie Catherine Hale is found at the scene. She is covered in blood from head to toe, and at first she’s mistaken for a survivor. But not a drop of the blood is hers.

Michael Jensen, son of the local sheriff, yearns to become a journalist and escape his small-town. He never imagined that the biggest story in the country would fall into his lap, or that he would be pulled into the investigation, when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to. 

As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies?


Rating: 3 Stars
My Review: Small town murder at its kind of best.  I have to say this is another story where parts of it were really good but others just weren't.  The characters were wonderful but this almost felt like I was reading a news article. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Michael Jenson has always wanted to be a journalist. Over the course of the summer in 1958, Michael has followed what the newspapers have dubbed "the Bloodless Murders"-a string of violent murders across the Midwest where the victims have been found with every drop of blood drained from their bodies-and his daydreams of stumbling across a story this huge grow by the day. Then the unthinkable happens. Michael's small Minnesota town is rocked when the Carlson family is found murdered in their living room, drained of all their blood, with 15-year-old Marie Catherine Hale found lingering in the next room, drenched in blood. Suddenly, Michael is thrust into the national spotlight when Marie insists that she will only tell her story to him. Blake based this story on the real-life murder spree of teenagers Charlie Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate and the murders of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas. The protagonists are well-developed-timid, polite Michael and bold, headstrong Marie carry the story forward on their own. The scenes in which Marie is recounting the murders to Michael are easily the book's most riveting. Despite the fascinating inspiration and characterization, the novel overall suffers from uneven pacing and a repetitive narrative. However, readers may find the true crime aspect and vague supernatural layer thrilling enough to enjoy the book. VERDICT A quick murder mystery that may not satisfy hardcore thriller fans but will no doubt be extremely popular due to its macabre plot. -Tyler Hixson, Brooklyn P.L..α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Fantastically disturbing and expertly eerie." -- Stephanie Garber, #1 bestselling author of the Caraval series

“A chilling psychological thriller that effectively pulls from true crimes, folklore, and urban legends.” -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“An insightful look at our morbid curiosity about murderers.” -- Kirkus Reviews

"Through an assured voice and a vividly wrought small-town atmosphere, Blake swiftly draws readers into this tense historical thriller inspired by a real-life murder spree." -- Publishers Weekly

“Reads like true crime. A chilling descent into the human psyche.” -- Booklist

“Timid, polite Michael and bold, headstrong Marie carry the story forward on their own.” -- School Library Journal

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