Fantasy Mystery Thriller

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane – Katherine Howe

2 September 2019
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane Book Cover The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Katherine Howe
June 9, 2009

Forced to set aside her Ph.D. research in order to help the settling of her late grandmother's abandoned home, Connie Goodwin discovers a hidden key among her grandmother's possessions that is linked to a darker chapter in Salem Witch Trial history. 250,000 first printing.


I loved the concept of a spellbook being uncovered in modern times with flashbacks to the Salem Witch trials of 1692. There is intrigue. Add a little bit of a thriller that other more sinister people want the book and you’ve got a cracker of a plot and an adventure story. Finally, add a great main character that you can trust to deliver the story, and surely a winner.

The problem is that the character, Connie, and the logic she applies doesn’t match the supposed intelligence and qualifications she has from Harvard. She’s a bit dumb – actually she’s frustratingly dumb. It was also difficult to develop any empathy for Connie, which should have been a given, considering she should have been dealing with a personal historical weight on her shoulders. 

There is an interesting link, however, through the 2 time periods not only to add intrigue to the narrative but on another level to suggest what constrained social thinking between 1692 and nowadays, is completely different from a spiritual, social, moral and legal perspective.

There are lots of plot holes and it lacked passion. It’s a bit difficult when as a reader you’re urging the author to do things to the story to make it more believable and entertaining, and they don’t happen.

It’s difficult to heartily recommend this book as I would rate it 2.5 stars.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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