Review of “The Gates of Evangeline” by Hester Young


Thanks to G.P. Putnam’s Sons for providing with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Charlie is a magazine writer living in Stamford, Ct. She’s recently lost her toddler son to a brain aneurysm and is, understandably, having difficulty coping. She begins to have disturbing visions of events involving children in great peril which she does not understand. When a former employer from Cold Crimes Magazine calls and offers her a job writing about the disappearance of a 4-year-old boy in Louisiana some 30 years ago, things begin to make sense. She agrees to try to help the family uncover the truth about the disappearance. She travels to meet the Deveau family at their antebellum mansion, Evangeline where she immediately falls for the (concealed gun-toting) landscaper who may or may not (the physic warned her!) be who seems to be. But through her determination, she uncovers the truth about the Deveau family and what happened to little Gabriel 30 years ago.

My thoughts:

Though I do love a good mystery/suspense novel, I didn’t find this book to be on par with the writing of Gillian Flynn and Alice Sebold as suggested in the book’s descprition on Goodreads. I found most of the characters to be underdeveloped, unlikable, or predictable. The story itself was good enough but there were some things, such as Charlie’s virtually unrestricted access to the police investigation (due to her vision of the investigator’s ill daughter), that were just not as believable as they needed to be for me. (When your story is based on someone having dreams and visions of the past and present, I think it’s important to keep the details somewhere within the realm of possibility.) The romantic aspect of the story was just a bit to predictable and sappy for me as well but I realize there are plenty of readers out there that love that sort of thing. I guess I’m just to cynical to fully appreciate it. All that being said, it wasn’t all bad. It was a very quick read and, despite all of the above, I will readily admit I had difficulty putting it down. I liked the author’s writing style. This book is the first in a trilogy though I didn’t get the impression at the end of this book that I should expect more to this particular story. I would read the next book as I’m curious to see where the author will take Charlie and her visions.

My rating:

3.25 stars