Deborah LeBlanc’s Voices is a seamless meld of horror and paranormal that explores the edge of insanity and a grieving mother’s quest for answers.
It’s been five years that Tess Bienville lost everything — her-four-year-old son, husband, home and job. She is stricken by grief, but then she learns about paranormal investigation over the television and her curiosity about the subject pushes her to seek answers. She is determined to find out what happens after life, if ghosts really exist, and most importantly, the fate of her own child. She joins the Society of Paranormal Investigators and she is about to discover far more than she bargained for, a world of mystery and horror. But can she discover the secrets about her poor little boy and his untimely demise?
The novel opens with a prologue that is unsettling, presenting a seven-year-old girl simply known as Number Fifty-Seven. The anonymity raises many questions, coupled with the pervasive uneasiness the girl experiences and the fear that inhabits her. This is a powerful premonition for readers and it preludes what is to come in the story. There is a new clearing and she’s learned that kids simply disappear there, kids from the asylum where no one has dared to adopt her. Then it moves to the investigative activity of the SPI and grows in tension as the reader encounters new characters experiencing unusual phenomena.
Deborah LeBlanc has taken the common experience of grief and woven a fascinating tale around it, with characters that are solid and plot points that are unsettling and emotionally engaging. The novel is a twisty slow burner and it reflects the work of a writer who knows so well how to bring humanity and realism into a story that explores paranormal activity. The team of paranormal investigators — Joe, Tess, Tanza, Kiley — is composed of a feisty lot that is interesting to follow. This is an engaging and suspenseful narrative, as gripping as it is chilly.