Author: Cynthia H. Wise
Genre: Fiction, Paranormal
Series: The Marcel Experience #1
Paperback, 426 pages
Publication: October 31, 2015 by BookLogix
Source: I received a review copy from the author in exchange for a honest review.
Soon after Thomas Shear buys a house for his art gallery, the spirits of a killer’s child victims haunt his dreams. Believing they were conjured by stress and a vivid imagination, Tom hopes to vanquish the nightmares that leave him shaking and sweat-soaked by creating a series of life-sized portraits portraying;the suffering of each little girl.
When news of his portrait series spreads, however, Tom is confronted by the lead investigator for the missing children, Detective Mark Winward. Realizing he has become involved in something more sinister than he could ever have imagined and the detective’s number one suspect, Tom races to find the real killer before he is framed and someone Tom loves becomes the killer’s next victim.
Portrait of Rage was a big, big surprise. I knew it was going to be good but it went beyond my expectations. I was captivated within the first few pages and it had me hooked till the very end. The story is centered on an artist and a murder investigation. Thomas Sharp, our main character, recently purchased a perfect house to showcase his art, but what he didn’t except was it to be haunted...by little girls all under the age of sixteen. The girls’ terrorizes his dreams and his waking hours, urging him to find their murderer and it is through his art that readers follow along Thomas as he discovers what happened to the nine little girls and the identity of the killer.
Wise’s Portrait of Rage is impressive. The writing was natural and the story flowed seamlessly. The plot /structure was perfect and the pacing great. I can tell the author took time and consideration in everything she did, from how the story was setup to the words written on the pages. Everything from the setting, characters, and paranormal elements served its purpose and made the book come alive. For example, Thomas used painting as a medium to interpret the girls' messages. I thought this was clever and visually detailed that I can picture it perfectly in my mind. Another reason why I thought it was notable is because this is the author’s debut novel. If I didn’t know that already, one would have thought a seasoned author with multiple books under her belt wrote it.
Portrait of Rage is told through multiple POVs which gave readers an in-depth look at the characters and a wider perspective on the situation. I love seeing the story from Thomas, the detectives, and the killer’s point-of-view. Wise is a natural storyteller and she did a great job creating the perfect combination of mystery, thriller, suspense, and romance with a touch of supernatural. While the story is filled with tormented specters, there was an interesting turn of events with some of the characters possessing unique abilities. Portrait of Rage kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time. The story had so many twist and turns that when the big reveal came…I was speechless! I thought I had the killer pegged but I was so shocked when I found out who it was. Definitely didn’t see that one coming! I loved Portrait of Rage and I think it’s an excellent start to a new series and I can’t wait to see what the author has planned for The Marcel Experience. I highly recommend Portrait of Rage. I think it will appeal to a lot of people, as there is something for everyone. Read it, you won’t be disappointed!