New Slain Knight is set in Cornwall, same setting as Charles de Lint's The Little Country, a place haunted by a long and misty past of history and myth where time itself often comes unbound. Often tragically.
Imagine not one but two hauntings happening at once. And now imagine someone is not simply able to see visions of the past so vividly that she, Penny, can watch and feel the hauntings as if she was there, but is also able to amplify those hauntings so others are caught up in them. Others who have no way of coping with what she's experiencing.
All this happens because a three week vacation planned by Penny and her lover, musician Ringan, is disturbed when Ringan's sister calls to ask him to watch her daughter for two weeks. Penny does not mind that Rebecca is going to be with them; indeed, she suggests they go to Cornwall as a way of getting away from everything. Ringan arranges for them to stay with his friend and fellow musician, Gowan Cambourne, who makes Penny feel extremely uncomfortable. She and Becca share the same horrific vision when 'New Slain Knight' is played, but the vision appears to have nothing at all to do with the words of that song.
Gowan confesses that his lover committed suicide in the house and that Rebecca resembles her rather strongly. Our young fiddler performs the song with Gowan's band and has a vision of his ancestors who lived five centuries ago, involving a sordid tale of rape and murder. Before something fatal happens to one of them, a very worried Ringan takes the two women to Tintagell, but the visions continue. (In previous novels, the visions were linked to being in a specific location.) Will discovering the truth about what happened long ago still the visions? Or is something else at play here? With Penny having migraines and Becca having seizures that leave her unconscious, the past is threatening to add more victims to the existing toll.
It is important to stress Grabien is a writer with a keen interest in music, which figures nicely into her writing, as music is intrinsic to all her novels. Besides The Haunted Ballads, she is also the author of The Kinkaid Chronicles, a mystery series based on Rock and Roll instead of the traditional music in this series. The first novel, Rock & Roll Never Forgets, will be released next year on Thomas Dunne Books.
Causes Deborah Grabien Supports
EMILY's List (early member), Amnesty International (member on two continents for thirty years), Animal Welfare causes (we rescue feral cats), NARAL and...