Sep 14, 2021

ARC Review--All These Bodies by Kendare Blake


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?



I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Kendare Blake returns to the world of the creepy and mysterious with her latest novel, All These Bodies! I was excited that Kendare had made a return to the horror genre and this book was nothing like I expected it to be. It was actually inspired by true events in a vague sort of way as she explains in a note at the end. All These Bodies was truly mysterious and I was sad when it ended.

This story is set in the late 50s which threw me a bit, but after reading that author’s note it makes better sense, and takes place in a small town in Minnesota when a beloved family was found murdered in their house. There was also a young girl standing among the bodies covered in blood. These murders were only another part of a string of murders that had been taking place for weeks. All the bodies were found drained of blood. Talk about mysterious right?

When the police discover Marie standing covered in blood they don’t know what to think. Is she a victim? Is she a murderer? She’s taken to prison anyway until things can get cleared up and it’s not long before they find out she was involved. Not only with the recent murders but possibly with all of them. No one wants to believe that she acted alone and continually harass her to give up her accomplice. She finally agrees to tell her story, but only to Michael—the son of the sheriff who arrested her.

Michael is a budding journalism student. He wants write stories for the newspapers and Marie’s story will be his first and over the course of several weeks, she begins to tell him her story in bits and pieces. All the while, odd things keep happening around town. Weird things, like a snake is found in Michael’s friend’s car, Michael swears he sees an intruder in his house. But these things get explained away as nothing major.

This story wasn’t as horrorific as I had hoped it would be. It was definitely mysterious and Marie’s mysterious companion made me even more curious. The word “vampire” gets thrown out there a few times, but we never really get that black and white answer of what’s true or not.

All the while, Michael finds himself getting closer to Marie. Not in a romantic sense, but in one where he understands her somewhat. He feels a connection to her and her story. They have an odd sort of relationship developing as it’s not quite friendship either, it was definitely interesting.

A lot of things don’t get said in the end and I think that kind of adds to the mystery. It’s partially irritating as I’d rather have answers in the end, but not having them is also intriguing. Some answers aren’t ones we want to hear about or know or we already know them and just can’t have them admitted. Needless to say this one was a head spinner!

All These Bodies wasn’t quite the horror story I had hoped for, but it made up for it with its deeply rich mystery and all the puzzles and weirdness that came with it. The story ends in a way that still left me baffled wondering if it would still take the turn I thought it would. This is a story that will leave you guessing in the end and craving more!


Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars


All These Bodies releases September 21, 2021







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