Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan

3 Stars (3 / 5)

Long Black Veil is the story of Judith Carrigan, whose past is dredged up when the body of her college friend Wailer is discovered 20 years after her disappearance in Philadelphia’s notorious and abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. Judith is the only witness who can testify to the innocence of her friend Casey, who had married Wailer only days before her death.

The only problem is that on that fateful night at the prison, Judith was a very different person from the woman she is today. In order to defend her old friend and uncover the truth of Wailer’s death, Judith must confront long-held and hard-won secrets that could cause her to lose the idyllic life she’s built for herself and her family.


I had super high expectations for this book. The blurb made it sound more than a little bit awesome, the cover was pretty intriguing and I am usually not disappointed with the books that I get from Crown Publishing. I was a little let down by it in the end though. I know that other people might really enjoy it, so I will concede that perhaps it is just not for me and give it 3/5 stars.

The first few chapters were pretty good, the kids were sneaking around in an old penitentiary and it was a little spooky and eerie to be reading at night. They end up getting locked in and one of them goes missing while they are in there. When all of this is happening, the book was super creepy and I thought it was going to be amazing but it slowed way down after that while the kids cope with the aftermath of what happened.

The story flips back and fourth between the past and the present, which is something I usually like that but with this story it seemed to slow the pace a little bit and it seemed tedious. I really only enjoyed reading the kids time line, the adults were horrible versions of themselves. If you don’t like this author’s characters then you definitely won’t enjoy reading this book, as the characters are what drives the whole thing. And there are So. Many. Characters. Some could have been cut out in order to focus and develop the actions of the main few, Judith, Ben.

The plot is kind of a wet blanket. There were plot twists happening, but most of them I predicted and none of them surprised me at all. Usually the mystery is upfront and the life issues are happening in the background, and that was not the case with this book. The mystery was happening in the background, and the mystery is why I like to read these stories. Judith’s struggles with the past and present was the only thing that kept this book going.

All in all I don’t think that I could recommend this book to anyone but a very small and select few, most of whom I probably haven’t even met yet.

*I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

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Sara is a book hobbit that lives in a house of all boys, located in the promised land. Books stack the walls to the ceiling in some places, and she just keeps adding more. She was raised on top of a mountain that is locked in the dead of winter ten months of the year. She wears a size eleven shoe and enjoys her chicken cooked on the BBQ grill. In addition to reading she enjoys pinning crafts on Pinterest that she will never make and watching movies about people with sad lives or documentaries about serial killers.

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