Book Review: Bless Her Dead Heart (The Righteous #1) by Meg Collett
The day Loey Grace Keene and her best friends condemned a man to death was the day she knew she’d never leave Righteous, Tennessee. Running her grandparents’ coffee shop and old farm distracts her from the sins of her past. ’Course, that’s until she discovers the town’s preacher impaled in the cemetery’s oldest tree. There ain’t never been a storm in Righteous like there was the day Jeronimo James blew into town. He might be Blackmore Baptist’s new preacher, but Loey’s instincts warn her to stay away from his black eyes, cowboy swagger, and motorcycle. His arrival on the heels of a murder, plus his odd questions about salted graves and hallowed ground, lands him smack dab at the top of her suspect list. Loey’s search for the killer uncovers the magic beneath Righteous’s ancient superstitions and a family secret that further binds her to the town. For centuries, the Keenes have kept Righteous’s threads knotted together, but something sinister is tattering the Seam. Unless Loey can catch the otherworldly killer and embrace her calling as a Keene, the Seam between Righteous and a pocket world will be ripped forever, unleashing a hungry, vengeful creature onto the God-fearing folk of Righteous. The Righteous Series is the twisted sweet tea of Southern paranormal suspense. Delve into a world of mysticism, where the lies run as thick as the accents and the superstitions are born of real and powerful mountain magic.
Texas is a weird state. We consider ourselves to be part of the South, except we’re also independent: not a part of the South, but just the biggest, best state in existence (Texans are humble that way). Which is contradictory, and doesn’t make much sense. But that’s how it is.
And that weird, traditional, doesn’t-make-much-sense-but-that’s-how-it-is mentality is perfectly elaborated upon in Bless Her Dead Heart.
Which was, hands down, such a powerful component of this book. That mentality almost took on a presence of its own, influencing the characters and their decisions. This mentality was this massive, oppressive thing, hovering above the town of Righteous the way the summer sun presides over the South. It became nearly as gruesome a monster as the actual monster itself, and having it so thoroughly examined and presented, especially with it being such a part of my childhood, was a novel treat.
It was the perfect backdrop to this story–a tale of love, loss, and consequences. I appreciated how brokenly real the characters were. Loey Grace wasn’t your typical protagonist, and I appreciated that about her–almost as much as I appreciated her answer to a problem was a cup of sweet tea. Similarly, Jeronimo James wasn’t your typical leading man, and again, his flaws and shortcomings made him such an interesting character to follow.
This story definitely struck a cord. The powerful writing, engaging characters, and visceral representation of a small Southern town drew me in. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars!