Friday Review: The Cormorant (Miriam Black #3) by Chuck Wendig

The CormorantThe Cormorant by Chuck Wendig

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the third installment of Wendig’s Miriam Black series, Miriam is on her way to Florida, responding to a Craigslist ad offering $5000 if she will tell a wealthy man how he dies. Miriam has a gift, or a curse depending on how you look at it. If she touches you, skin to skin, she can see how you die. Kicked out of the apartment she’d been living in for not being able to pay her share, she really has nothing better, so she heads to Florida, already a land of mixed emotions for Miriam. Her mother, who she has been estranged from for years, is there. So is Louis, the man she loves and has not seen since the last book. When she arrives at her employer’s house, she finds the whole job was a set-up to deliver a message to her in her vision of the man’s death. (She does get her 5 grand, though.) It seems an old acquaintance has resurfaced. One who has a special gift of his own, and no love for Miriam or those she cares about.

This is another fast-paced, sometimes disturbing, and always fascinating look into Miriam Black’s dark and twisted world. Miriam has come a long way from taking advantage of her gift for gain and now tries to prevent the deaths of the innocent people she sees in her visions. She’s also haunted by the ghosts of those that have died, either at her hand or because of her interference in what was supposed to be. She refers to all of the apparitions as the Trespasser, and it seems that perhaps the message the Trespasser is trying to give her has caught up with her. Miriam is not one to sit back and let nature- or something worse- take its course. And this time it’s personal.

The story is told in alternating sequences of present day and past flashbacks. Many chapters are short, some no more than a couple pages. The writing style is what you expect from Wendig- sometimes choppy, always blunt, and like heading down a steep slope with no brakes. There’s a lot of death and blood and not-so-pretty scenes. Miriam is foul-mouthed and sarcastic. She’s also learning a lot more about herself this time around, maybe a little too much for comfort. But when she cares, she cares deeply and fiercely, and will stop at nothing to make sure she sets things right.

Despite the sometimes very short chapters, this is not necessarily a quick reading book. It borders on horror, and there are strongly disturbing psychological aspects. It is frightening and scary and uplifting and sad and redemptive, and more. It’s 100% Miriam Black.

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