Book Review: The Little Crow, by Caitlin Ricci
The mysterious man, rescued from a basement in which he was chained by cultists, keeps Jamison guessing. He both confuses and excites him, and Jamison isn’t sure how he feels about that. Plus, things turn from unusual to downright strange when people start insisting Mal isn’t quite human. And Jamison’s creepy dreams of crows and graveyards don’t make things any better for him.
Will Mal stay around long enough for Jamison to figure out his secrets, or will this stranger leave him aching for more?
Practically Perfect PNR
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
The story is told in dual POV, but in a way that means each character gets a solid 4-5 chapters of POV before switching, which is great. It means that the other character can continue doing the same routine, without us having to read about it in detail, while we head off with the more interesting storyline of the moment. It does, however, mean that we don't get Mal's first POV until Chapter 15, but the reason for that is just as vital to the story as the dual POV. It takes that long for us to learn the truth of who he is and what his part in the story is.
There's a lot of “bad” or “evil” stuff covered in the story, but only in passing and never in any real detail: cannibalism, illegal drugs, occult, hit and run, coma, drowning, suicide, torture etc. All of these things are included because – hello, Demons! – but also because they're necessary plot progressions, as well as explorations of the type of crimes that Detective Jamison investigates.
I was pulled right into the story from page one, when Jamison began any other raid by finding Mal as a prisoner, held hostage by a bunch of occultists. It was a great way to introduce us to both characters, and I loved the weirdness that Mal exhibited through Jamison's POV. Though it was obvious that something else was going on, it was nice not to have it thrown in our faces right away. Jamison had a very no-nonsense attitude, always the dedicated cop, so it was nice to follow that for a while, before dipping into the more naughyy, malevolent attitude of Mal.
I really liked that we spent an almost equal amount of time in Earth and Hell, getting to see Mal in both environments, while Jamison explored his reality as well as his dreams. It was a nice twist to the whole idea, actually seeing Mal in action, while also seeing that he wasn't quite the top dog, despite what he'd want anyone to think.
The ending was really cute, but I really appreciated the little blurb and snippet of book 2 at the end, letting me know that my unanswered question of Carter's shadow was going to be answered. I would have liked a confrontation about Jamison finding out the truth about all Mal had done for him, in terms of the dream and the cat-o-nine, but at the same time I kind of love that he learns to appreciate Mal despite that knowledge. Because I think Mal would always wonder if pity or gratitude was the real reason for his change of heart, instead of genuinely wanting it.
“Freed, the man rose to his feet, and Jamison found his nose only inches from the tattoo of a crow that flew against the man’s navel. Though his mouth was dry, he swallowed thickly as he followed the trail of the intricate tattoo until the bird’s tail feathers disappeared under the waist of the man’s jeans.”