Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review: Saint Nellie by Odal Madsen

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from the author,via Bostick Communications, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Since we're talking about 'other wordly' adventure today,
here's one for the adults!


Saint Nellie is a suspense novel that takes place in a small Southern town, where an undercurrent of chaotic violence lingers behind paranoid sneers and angry church sermons, bleeding into the lives of its residents as effortlessly as an afternoon iced tea. 

Mia Taylor is a fifteen year-old spending a stifling Summer in Blackwell, Tennessee, trying her best to avoid standing out in a place where old ideas still have deep roots. However, what gnaws at the heart of Blackwell isn't just a community struggling to escape a history of racial violence, but something equally destructive, otherworldly, and older than time immemorial. Something the residents speak of in hushed tones and with furtive glances. Tales of the town's one-eyed "witch", Nellie McGruder, bubble at the pit of the town's consciousness, and rumors of the dark power wielded by the reclusive woman run rampant. 

Now, tasked with reaching out to Nellie McGruder, Mia and her mother are forced to look deeply into the soul of Blackwell, and what they find will utterly terrify them. 


There is something inherent about Southern tales about the mountains, that lend them to the 'gothic' genre. When done well, they are tales that haunt the reader for days and weeks. Such is the case with this book. The epitome of a page turner, I literally could NOT put it down once I had gotten to the 4th chapter! Odal does an excellent job of weaving mountain culture, race relations, Southern church culture and the super natutral into a tale that goes beyond haunting. Like the proverbial 'serial killer' movie, you'll find yourself yelling out loud to the characters ("run", "flee", "hello, are you crazy?") and wondering at the quirks of human nature, that allow us to put blinders on to what is actually going on around us.There are SO many layers to this book, that it is hard to describe. It's not for the squeamish, or those who don't like reading supernatural tales. It's also not a book to read late late at night- as you might hear a LOT of noises-LOL. But it is perfect for campfire reading, so add it to your Summer must read list!

About the Author:

Odal Madsen is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, and an active member of Nashville's business community. Although his writings have been kept private until now,this is his first novel. Odal terms his brand of fiction 'Blackened Literature', taken from the 'Blackened' modifier applied to certain genres of music. The idea is to write gritty, dingy stories with strong characters that force readers to confront certain unpleasant realities of life while also thrilling them with a good story.

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