When Lanny arrives in police custody at the St. Andrew ER, she meets Luke, the physician on duty, a man recently divorced and whose life feels as though it has no direction. Though he can find no medical reason why the police can’t take Lanny away, he quickly becomes captivated by her story of immortality and is drawn to help her in spite of her confession to murder.
Lanny’s tale begins in the village of St. Andrew, Maine, in 1809, where she falls in love with Jonathan St. Andrew, a boy above her station and the man she can never have. But it is in Boston where her life is touched by another who gifts her with the curse of immortality.
The Taker marks Alma Katsu’s debut as a novelist. The book is one of supernatural suspense that captures the historical flavour of scenes set in earlier times. Katsu’s narrative feels effortless – the words draw the reader into the intrigue of Lanny’s centuries-long life. As an immortal, Lanny certainly manages to overcome her Puritanical upbringing.
While it’s a difficult book to put down, The Taker may take a bit too long to tell its tale, and then it ends rather abruptly. But it’s the first of a trilogy, so that might help explain the structure. I’m certainly curious about the second book.