Relatively well written, filled with historic period detail, the murder mystery The Orphan Master nevertheless disturbingly deals with gruesome pathologic killings based on a flesh-eating Algonquin Indian folklore demon. The story takes place in the mid-1660s in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam. Author Jean Zimmerman weaves political tensions into her story as the colony is on the cusp of being overtaken by the British. Details of everyday life, habits, commerce and power struggles are interesting. But the co-developing love story does nothing to diminish the brutish nature of the sick crimes portrayed. The book’s cover calls the story “Lively, fast paced, and full of colorful characters….a dramatic page-turner.” Such light-hearted descriptions ignore the darkness of the story. It is not for the sensitive reader.
posted for reader C.C.