The Truth of all Things is a historical mystery set in Portland, Maine in 1892. The protagonists, Deputy Marshall Archie Lean and Criminalist Perceval Grey are on the trail of a series of brutal murders. As they dig deeper into the crimes, they find a connection to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
It’s June of 1892 when Archie Lean is called to the scene of a gruesome murder. A prostitute has been killed in a most horrific way; her body pinned to the ground with a pitchfork and laid out in a pentagram. When he finds out that “sticking” is a traditional way to kill a witch, Archie enlists the help of criminalist Perceval Grey and historian Helen Prescott. Together they must find a way to decipher the mystery the killer has lain out and delve into the dark places of the witch trials and the occult to unravel it.
I love the historical framework of the novel. The setting in Portland on the bicentennial of the Salem Witch Trials and all of the detail work that went into the framework for the time period was very well crafted. From the opium dens to the fascination with spiritualism, the author does a great job bringing 1892 to life.
I really liked both characters Lean and Grey and I loved seeing their relationship develop from distrust – Archie is still of the old school of criminal thought while Grey uses more modern techniques. As the story moves along, so does their relationship until it becomes one of grudging respect and eventually a friendship develops.
There were enough twists and turns to keep me interested and I was still guessing near the end. There were parts I saw coming but I don’t think that was a lack in the author’s ability but rather a good use of foreshadowing on his part.
There were times when the book dragged for me, I never stopped enjoying the book but I wanted it to speed up. Although I really liked the Salem Witch Trials incorporation into the plot, I think the research the detectives did was at times weighing down the story.
Overall it was a really good read. If you enjoy mystery, suspense, history or are just looking for a good read, put this on your to be read list.