Midwest Book Review’s Appraisal

Banished Threads by Kaylin McFarren

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It’s been rumored that Banished Threads concludes a vivid mystery series revolving around sleuths, spies, and treasure hunts: so those who have relished Kaylin McFarren’s prior books should be prepared to read slowly, carefully, and enthusiastically, because this final book will end the series unless Kaylin surprises us all.

That said, Banished Threads should not be missed by either prior fans or newcomers, and twists the threads of family ties to their breaking points, as it uncovers stolen paintings, a missing granddaughter, an uncle accused of murder, and a plot to destroy a family.

Rachel and Chase have their hands more than full, especially since Rachel faces building her own future family circle, which may become endangered by her actions.

Taunt scenes of confrontation between characters, underlying issues of trust, forthcoming nuptials changed by unexpected voyages, and the terror of a kidnapped woman are all wound into atmospheric descriptions of setting and psyche alike. But it’s the psychological depth that keeps the protagonists filled with life and three-dimensional personalities: “He’d been protecting her from his psycho partner in the next room—a man who would beat her to death if given the chance. She slowly opened the door, exposing her fears and vulnerability. Then she slid down to the floor and stared straight ahead, waiting like a mouse in a trap.”

These revelations, liberally peppered throughout a story of danger and motivation, keep the plot moving quite a step above the usual genre mystery: “Where are my friends? She wondered. Maybe they never existed outside of her imagination. They were as phony and wicked as the fairy tales she had once believed in—the fairy tales her language teacher had enjoyed reading in boarding school and had cruelly destroyed the night he snuck into her room. It suddenly dawned on her that, no matter where destiny took her, she would always be caged, always be trapped in her childhood nightmares. Begging for love, begging for power. Begging to wake up and be free.”

Mystery and thriller readers will find this level of description setsBanished Threads apart from more singular plots as it evolves into a gripping story of life and death told on many levels, using real living, breathing protagonists whose actions and thoughts move beyond the art and intrigue circles they traverse.

Quite simply, Banished Threads is an emotion-charged ride through a series of close encounters that are as psychologically gripping as they are filled with action.

Mystery and thriller audiences are in for a real treat. – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

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