Maggie Crow was raised by her stern father and two older brothers in an isolated small town. Knowing from a young age that her childhood was abnormal, she obeyed and learned to lie in order to protect her family despite the horrors that surrounded her. At 18 years of age, she is about to learn what her father has planned but fate is about to deal her a different hand.
“When all you have is the worst of the lot, the worst becomes your normal because it’s all you’ve ever known.”
Elliot McLoughlin married his childhood sweetheart and started a family at a young age; however, tragedy struck which led Elliot down a dark path where he couldn’t recover from the loss. Fourteen years later, Elliot’s heart is still full of vengeance and he’s determined to find who is responsible for his pain. With a plan, he’s ready to act despite the possibility of collateral damage.
“Put in the simplest terms, I was damaged. I was broken. I had nothing left to lose, which made me the most dangerous type of man.”
As Elliot begins to execute his plan, he befriends Maggie and their union leads to complications, passion and further deception. Not revealing his suspicions or motivations, Maggie’s naivety adds to Elliot’s dilemma but he isn’t willing to modify his end game. While Maggie is trying to hide her own secrets, she can’t help to feel safe with Elliot.
“I liked to think I’d given her three things her family never could: I’d given her freedom. I’d given her choice. And I’d given her hope.”
With more at stake, truths surface one by one and Elliot and Maggie are tested in different ways. Seeing Maggie struggle with her loyalties and the knowledge she resisted for so long is compelling and leads to a range of emotions. For Elliot, his grief is monumental and as he gets closer to those responsible, the level of risk is ever increasing as his will is put to the test.
“If ever two souls had been fused together through violence, despair and pain, it was Elliot and I.”
From the beginning, the tensions are high due to the heinous acts committed and the desperation felt for Elliot’s vengeance. Adding to the conflict are the emotions that build between Elliot and Maggie. While their relationship is unconventional in one aspect, it also makes sense as these two lost souls find strength in each other thereby creating an intense journey.
For me, it felt natural to empathize with the depth of Elliot’s pain and the lengths he would take to find peace. It was also interesting to read how far Elliot was willing to go – emotionally and physically – to achieve his end goal. In contrast, it was harder to understand Maggie’s decisions but her vulnerabilities and inner strength ultimately led her to the right place.
In Four Crows, Lily White successfully creates a narrative steeped in tension, evil, fear, loss and redemption. Expect to feel angry, sad, helpless, empowered and hopeful. I recommend to those who enjoy their books with a dose of darkness about the human condition!
*An ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey and Loyda!!*