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All These Bodies

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Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation. Summer 1958—a string of murders plagues the Midwest. The victims are found in their cars and in their homes—even in their beds—their bodies drained, but with no blood anywhere. September 19- the Carlson family is slaughtered in their Minnesota farmhouse, and the case gets its first lead: 15-year-old Marie Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation. Summer 1958—a string of murders plagues the Midwest. The victims are found in their cars and in their homes—even in their beds—their bodies drained, but with no blood anywhere. September 19- the Carlson family is slaughtered in their Minnesota farmhouse, and the case gets its first lead: 15-year-old Marie Catherine Hale is found at the scene. She is covered in blood from head to toe, and at first she’s mistaken for a survivor. But not a drop of the blood is hers. Michael Jensen, son of the local sheriff, yearns to become a journalist and escape his small-town. He never imagined that the biggest story in the country would fall into his lap, or that he would be pulled into the investigation, when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to. As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies?


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Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation. Summer 1958—a string of murders plagues the Midwest. The victims are found in their cars and in their homes—even in their beds—their bodies drained, but with no blood anywhere. September 19- the Carlson family is slaughtered in their Minnesota farmhouse, and the case gets its first lead: 15-year-old Marie Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation. Summer 1958—a string of murders plagues the Midwest. The victims are found in their cars and in their homes—even in their beds—their bodies drained, but with no blood anywhere. September 19- the Carlson family is slaughtered in their Minnesota farmhouse, and the case gets its first lead: 15-year-old Marie Catherine Hale is found at the scene. She is covered in blood from head to toe, and at first she’s mistaken for a survivor. But not a drop of the blood is hers. Michael Jensen, son of the local sheriff, yearns to become a journalist and escape his small-town. He never imagined that the biggest story in the country would fall into his lap, or that he would be pulled into the investigation, when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to. As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies?

30 review for All These Bodies

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    this book should be filed under ‘evidence confirming recency bias.’ the ending totally let me down and, because of that, the enjoyment i felt throughout now feels forgotten. i honestly was really loving this. i think KB has perfected the small town feel. the atmosphere, the characters and the way they talk, the description of the town and its citizens, and just the overall writing is such a good reflection of the time period and location. i felt immediately transported and immersed. its honestly this book should be filed under ‘evidence confirming recency bias.’ the ending totally let me down and, because of that, the enjoyment i felt throughout now feels forgotten. i honestly was really loving this. i think KB has perfected the small town feel. the atmosphere, the characters and the way they talk, the description of the town and its citizens, and just the overall writing is such a good reflection of the time period and location. i felt immediately transported and immersed. its honestly what i loved most about this. i also loved the murders. you know im a true crime junkie. the bodies. the missing blood. the one key witness turned suspect. i ate it up and was fascinated by the real life inspiration behind it all. marie did frustrate me with her vague nature and lack of willingness to answer questions. i wanted to shake her most of the time. but i like the bond michael formed with her as he tried to come at the investigation from a journalistic perspective. that leads us to the ending/reveal. its… not great. it creates more questions than answers. the information discovered throughout the story is never explained properly. and i just dont like how everything plays out. its unfulfilling and boring and just doesnt satisfy a reader who put in the effort to read and get to that point. such a shame. this book has really excellent world-building and writing style, but the conclusion is making it hard to remember that. ↠ 3.5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "Tell the truth and shame the devil. I always thought that would be easy. But what do you do when the truth that you're faced with also happens to be impossible?" All These Bodies has been one of my most anticipated 2021 releases since it was first announced. The fact that it blends a historical aspect with the mystery/horror subject piqued my curiosity, and the first 1/3 of the book had me riveted. I think the middle chunk was what really bogged the story down, as it became less about the murder "Tell the truth and shame the devil. I always thought that would be easy. But what do you do when the truth that you're faced with also happens to be impossible?" All These Bodies has been one of my most anticipated 2021 releases since it was first announced. The fact that it blends a historical aspect with the mystery/horror subject piqued my curiosity, and the first 1/3 of the book had me riveted. I think the middle chunk was what really bogged the story down, as it became less about the murders and more about the relationship between Marie and Michael. Once things ramp back up toward the end, there's a brusque "conclusion" that didn't really give me the insight I wanted into what was going on all along. This book might suffer from the "trying to fit too many things into one story and not making any of them great" conundrum, and without a satisfying ending, I couldn't give it more than 3 stars. Not exactly sure who to recommend this one to, but I know the right reader is out there. Maybe those who like more of a textbook feel to their serial killer thrillers? *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    In the Summer of 1958, a string of unsolved murders dubbed The Bloodless Murders plagued the U.S. Mid-West. In each case, the bodies are found completely drained of blood. Defying explanation, there is also no blood to be found anywhere at the scene, or any other evidence, for that matter. How is the killer getting away with this? In September, the spree ends in a small Minnesota town with the killing of the Carlson family. 15-year old, Marie Catherine Hale, is found at the scene absolutely covere In the Summer of 1958, a string of unsolved murders dubbed The Bloodless Murders plagued the U.S. Mid-West. In each case, the bodies are found completely drained of blood. Defying explanation, there is also no blood to be found anywhere at the scene, or any other evidence, for that matter. How is the killer getting away with this? In September, the spree ends in a small Minnesota town with the killing of the Carlson family. 15-year old, Marie Catherine Hale, is found at the scene absolutely covered in blood. Initially mistaken for a survivor, it turns out, none of the blood is hers and Miss Hale didn't previously know the Carlsons. She is the only lead. Michael Jensen, the Sheriff's son, soon gets pulled into the investigation when Marie declares that he is the only person she is willing to tell her story to. Michael can't believe his luck. With dreams of becoming a journalist, and leaving his small town behind, Marie's story could be exactly what he needs to help him reach that goal. However, it's more than that. He's drawn to Marie. The pretty girl is not like other girls he knows. She fast and world-wise. He can't help but be intrigued by her. Over the course of several jailhouse confessionals, Marie Catherine reveals a tale to Michael that includes a potential supernatural twist to the killings. Certainly, there's nothing more to that than the active imagination of a young girl trying to avoid blame for truly heinous acts, right? Nevertheless, Marie couldn't have acted alone, so who was her accomplice? Will the police be able to locate him based on the information Marie Catherine has put forth? You'll have to read it to find out! Y'all, this was really good. I enjoyed it so much. When I first started, I was instantly reminded of Truman Capote's masterpiece, In Cold Blood. The whole 1950s-era Mid-Western feel channeled that, for sure. If you are unaware, ICB is my favorite True Crime book of all time. My In Cold Blood vibes were definitely not far off, as the Author's Note at the end did mention the Clutter murders and Truman Capote. Overall, I found All These Bodies to be unique, compelling and fast-paced. I loved how Blake built-out the relationship between Michael and Marie Catherine. I also really enjoyed the pace at which Marie Catherine's story is told. It kept me completely focused and engaged. Thank you so much to the publisher, Quill Tree Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I will remember this one for a long time to come. Definitely recommend!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jaidee

    2 "disappointing, dissonant, mild flop of a job" stars !! I am a fan of Kendare Blake's YA fantasy series Three Dark Crowns...I have read the first in the series as well as two short prequels and found them absolutely delightful and entertaining (2 excellent four star reads and one a very good 3.5 star read). I have also shortlisted the next book in the series. When my lovely bf bought this and put it on my new kindle I squealed and was excited that Ms. Blake had written a supernatural serial ki 2 "disappointing, dissonant, mild flop of a job" stars !! I am a fan of Kendare Blake's YA fantasy series Three Dark Crowns...I have read the first in the series as well as two short prequels and found them absolutely delightful and entertaining (2 excellent four star reads and one a very good 3.5 star read). I have also shortlisted the next book in the series. When my lovely bf bought this and put it on my new kindle I squealed and was excited that Ms. Blake had written a supernatural serial killer mystery. This is where the good stuff ends.... Ms. Blake has written a book that is mostly inconsistent, illogical and lacking emotional resonance. This was inspired by teenage serial killers in the late 1950s Midwest that killed 16 people across several states These fictional characters behave in ways that stretch credulity and the plot is juvenile and convenient with supernatural elements thrown in when she doesn't seem to know where to take the plot. The story is uneven and I'm sorry to say I found much of this book sloppy and lazy. Unacceptable for a writer of Ms. Blake's calibre. This is far from a terrible book but goddam this is very far from a good book too. Oh well....still very excited to continue the Three Dark Crowns Series !

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lia Carstairs

    I am officially spooked™ “All these bodies without blood." Our narrator is a 17-year old future journalist named Michael who recounts his view of The Bloodless Murders case. The one person at the scene of the crime declares that they'll only tell their story to him and him only -- for some unknown reason. These murders have been terrorizing the whole country and now the case of the century is at the hands of Michael. He just needs to prove that Marie - the suspect - was only the accomp I am officially spooked™ “All these bodies without blood." Our narrator is a 17-year old future journalist named Michael who recounts his view of The Bloodless Murders case. The one person at the scene of the crime declares that they'll only tell their story to him and him only -- for some unknown reason. These murders have been terrorizing the whole country and now the case of the century is at the hands of Michael. He just needs to prove that Marie - the suspect - was only the accomplice and the true murderer is still out there. Easy. Except... sometimes the facts aren't as easy as they're made it out to be and Michael soon discovers that. "Tell the truth and shame the devil. I always thought that would be easy. But what do you do when the truth that you're faced with also happens to be impossible?" Michael as a narrator was... interesting to say the least. I'm impressed at how he was able to separate his emotions from the horrors he saw at times like wow I could never. But also sometimes he could be such an idiot like if someone was literally pointing a gun at you and about to shoot you -- when you manage to get away the first thing you do is tell the cops/parents right??? MICHAEL DIDNT DO THAT🤡 and its not like he was threatened or anything by them, he just decided not to tell anyone?? * sigh * That was probably the only really stupid decision there well that and him wanting to break a murderer out of prison I must admit that one thing I did find done well was the murder mystery being pretty spooky and interesting -- but at the same time, it was also really boring?? I don't know if that makes sense but that's how I felt. It was really easy to guess who the culprit was and this is coming from someone who sucks at guessing that. And the ending to it all was really underwhelming to be honest. That ending didn't reveal everything clearly and actually left me with more questions than answers. Also I may be dumb, but what even was that last chapter??? (view spoiler)[did the book really turn supernatural there?? because i have no idea how to take in that chapter. (hide spoiler)] Anyways overall this was super boring but alright. I've definitely read way better mysteries but this wasn't completely terrible. (2.5⭐) ____ Many thanks Harper Collins Canada for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)

    Full Review on The Candid Cover All These Bodies by Kendare Blake is a compelling thriller that lingered with me long after I turned the last page. The story depicts a series of murders, with each of the bodies drained of blood, and the main characters are expertly written. I don’t normally gravitate to books about vampires, but I found that the paranormal aspects of this one have a unique angle, and I enjoyed the way the author leaves it to the reader to decide what they believe. A suspenseful a Full Review on The Candid Cover All These Bodies by Kendare Blake is a compelling thriller that lingered with me long after I turned the last page. The story depicts a series of murders, with each of the bodies drained of blood, and the main characters are expertly written. I don’t normally gravitate to books about vampires, but I found that the paranormal aspects of this one have a unique angle, and I enjoyed the way the author leaves it to the reader to decide what they believe. A suspenseful and thought-provoking mystery, this is a great read for fans of true crime. In the summer of 1958, the Carlson family is brutally murdered inside their own home, their bodies drained of blood. At the scene, police find a girl covered in blood, but none of it is hers, and she is completely unharmed. With the entire town reeling with questions–who is Marie? Where did the blood come from?–Marie decides that the only person she will share her story is the sheriff’s son, aspiring journalist Michael. As Michael sits down with Marie in pursuit of the truth and hears a story that seems outrageous, he must decide if he believes her, and find a way to convince the district attorney of Marie’s innocence before she is given the death penalty. ❀ COMPLEX CHARACTERS This book has such complex characters who I loved getting to know as the story progressed. The story is told through Michael’s point of view, and I enjoyed the angle of an outsider trying to figure out what happened. This creates a lot of suspense, as the shocking details of Marie’s story are slowly revealed. Marie herself is such a mysterious character, and she is difficult to figure out. Is she a murderer, or is she a victim? While Marie isn’t the easiest character to connect with, I enjoyed the thrill of watching her story unfold and the bit of agency she has as she is only willing to tell her story on her own terms. ❀ POWERFUL THEMES Throughout the book, there are many powerful themes, including what happens to women’s stories in the media and what it means for something to be true. As the story makes clear, it doesn’t really matter what Marie says because everyone–the town, the press, the attorney–have already cemented their own beliefs about her, and nothing she says will change them. This book exposes how there is no such thing as the objective truth since the truth is influenced by our own beliefs, and, accordingly, the ending is left up to the reader’s interpretation. I am not normally a fan of open-ended endings, and I know some readers might not be satisfied with this, but I found that this conclusion drives home the message in a powerful way as it asks the reader what they choose to believe about Marie’s story. ❀ UNIQUE THRILLER All These Bodies by Kendare Blake is a powerful thriller about the truth and what it takes for a story to be believed. I enjoyed the concept of a journalist trying to uncover the truth about an unbelievable story, and the characters are well-written. As a story about a murder investigation, this one has an interesting perspective on the truth, making it a thought-provoking read. Those looking for a unique thriller this fall will not want to miss this one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    March 10, 2021: A teen girl accused of a string of horrifying murders confesses her crimes to the sheriff's son? Well, I'm here to confess my absolute interest in this book, thank you. March 10, 2021: A teen girl accused of a string of horrifying murders confesses her crimes to the sheriff's son? Well, I'm here to confess my absolute interest in this book, thank you.

  8. 4 out of 5

    jesse📚

    ”No! I’m NOT going to tell you! I’m going to just tell the one guy friend of mine who I met yesterday by the way! But he’s the only person who will believe me unlike all of you SUCKERS! But then I’m not going to do that either!” …And it goes on for 300 pages If there is an award for most pointless books I’ve ever read, this book would be a frontrunner. I’ve never felt so annoyed and cranky after I read a book. And we’re talking about “I’m bad-mouthing it” kind of cranky. What the hell did I read th ”No! I’m NOT going to tell you! I’m going to just tell the one guy friend of mine who I met yesterday by the way! But he’s the only person who will believe me unlike all of you SUCKERS! But then I’m not going to do that either!” …And it goes on for 300 pages If there is an award for most pointless books I’ve ever read, this book would be a frontrunner. I’ve never felt so annoyed and cranky after I read a book. And we’re talking about “I’m bad-mouthing it” kind of cranky. What the hell did I read this for? This book centers around Michael Jensen, whose father is a cop. One day, there is this homicide happening in a house and the only one left in the crime scene is a fifteen year old girl, drenched from head to toe with blood. All the other people in that house are dead, their blood drained. By what? Vampires? Magical mosquitos? Nobody knows! But the girl is only “willing” to talk to Michael because no one else would believe her anyway. Pay attention to the quotation marks there. I’m getting where to where this book gets annoying. So in here, we have a cold-blooded murder mystery crisscrossing with a hue of paranormal. The last book I read that I could compare with at the very least would be Stephen King’s The Outsider though that won’t be fair either since one is YA and the other is adult and written by Stephen goddamn King. Allow me to spare you the agony of going through such a tiresome journey: this book has uncontestably zero plot. Read the synopsis again. That’s what happened until the end. It’s basically this Marie girl being annoying and not willing to talk about exactly what we want to know. And if you think the ending would appease your hunger for answers… oh boy, you’re in for a treat because you will get absolutely ZERO answers either. So why did I read all of that for? I have no clue. I felt like I was doing a research paper on the Zodiac Killer or Jack the Ripper or something: tremendously laborious yet futile. That would give you a good idea on what happened and how it ends. If we are touching the grounds of “open-endedness”, this book doesn’t even allow me the least bit of contentedness to end the book with no plot and no answers. The thing about putting up a mystery centered around one person who won’t speak anything about it is that it will get old, and Kendare Blake doesn’t exactly have a plan in mind to keep me invested. There are no progresses or investigations (or even if there are, it’s not directly shown). It’s 300 pages of Michael trying to get Marie to talk and Marie not wanting to then proceeds to irritate the fuck out of us all. Michael is bland and though he isn’t much of a fun person to spend the time with, I think I’ve had no complaints about the poor guy. Marie, on the other hand, makes me want to chuck my phone to the wall and that’s exceptional because I love my phone. She is uncannily fictional: adamant girl who refuses to bow to anyone with the world kissing her heels begging her to say something. I need to stress out for the third time that nothing happens. It’s like the author is trying to find a way to accentuate this story by creating a girl so mysterious we know nothing about her, but she has to make the girl clam up so she would sound “interesting”. This worked in like the first 50 pages before it seemed like she was stalling and then she was downright annoying, petulant, and childlike. Though ambiguity in endings is something common in psychological thrillers (one of my favorite genres), its scope on this book is far too large and I struggle to find what I’m supposed to believe. This book doesn’t give me an option to believe in and it feels like I’m patching up pieces from newspaper clippings. The ending is one that refuses to end and if the book doesn’t give me the slightest bit of answer that I want… then why did I read it at all? For atmospheric study?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erin A. Craig

    I cannot adaquately express how much I adore this book. Hot damn, what a powerful story!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Star Rating: —> 2.5 Stars rounded^ Very disappointed. What a waste of what could've been SUCH a great plot! UGH. I was so looking forward to this, and idk WHY I rated it 3.5 Stars previously, but I read it again to make sure I didn't miss anything bc its a quick read... but just no. *sighs* Star Rating: —> 2.5 Stars rounded^ Very disappointed. What a waste of what could've been SUCH a great plot! UGH. I was so looking forward to this, and idk WHY I rated it 3.5 Stars previously, but I read it again to make sure I didn't miss anything bc its a quick read... but just no. *sighs*

  11. 4 out of 5

    ☀︎El In Oz☀︎

    1/5 Genuinely confused. Was anything solved at all?? RTC

  12. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    “IN THE VEIN OF ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD” ?!?!?!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    3.5/5 The summer of 1958 has the Midwest gripped by a brutal string of murders. Dubbed the bloodless murders, the victims all have died by exsanguination. In September the murders have come to Minnesota, but there is a change. A young girl, Marie Catherine Hale, is found at the scene covered in blood. She refuses to tell her story to all except Michael Jenson, the sheriff's son. This was an interesting read, overall it was interesting but I have so many questions left? While Marie tells her stor 3.5/5 The summer of 1958 has the Midwest gripped by a brutal string of murders. Dubbed the bloodless murders, the victims all have died by exsanguination. In September the murders have come to Minnesota, but there is a change. A young girl, Marie Catherine Hale, is found at the scene covered in blood. She refuses to tell her story to all except Michael Jenson, the sheriff's son. This was an interesting read, overall it was interesting but I have so many questions left? While Marie tells her story, we never really get concrete answers as to who committed the murders or how certain things happened. The ending really left me underwhelmed because the book kept hinting at answers to come, but they never came. I did enjoy the tone and atmosphere of this book. It was thrilling and entertaining to read. I just wish I had gotten more from the story. The question of vampires was never completely denied or confirmed. Rep: N/A CWs: Abandonment, underage alcohol consumption, animal death, blood, child death, confinement, death, death of parent, grief, misogyny, murder, sexism, violence.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stacey-Lea

    So, I really struggled with All These Bodies. As it is incredibly plot-driven it was hard to connect with the characters. It almost felt closer to reading an academic paper or study at times than a fictional mystery. Because of this I wasn’t able to invest into the story as much as I wanted. Characters just really carry a story for me more than plot so that was the divisive point for me. Our leads, Michael and Marie were okay, but it wasn’t enough. The pacing was also predominantly slow moving a So, I really struggled with All These Bodies. As it is incredibly plot-driven it was hard to connect with the characters. It almost felt closer to reading an academic paper or study at times than a fictional mystery. Because of this I wasn’t able to invest into the story as much as I wanted. Characters just really carry a story for me more than plot so that was the divisive point for me. Our leads, Michael and Marie were okay, but it wasn’t enough. The pacing was also predominantly slow moving as well, which didn’t help. Honestly, many times I found that I just did not want to pick it up. Toward the half way point the plot started to pick up and I was hopeful for a moment, so I powered through but this is just not what I hope it was going to be. Especially because that ending? I’m sorry but that ending was so unsatisfactory, and not worth the time (sorry about it). If you’re going into All These Bodies expecting a fast YA mystery then this one isn’t for you. This isn’t your Truly Devious or Good Girls Guide to Murder so just go into it with that in mind. I’m giving this a three star rating mostly because I don’t think the book itself is bad, it just wasn’t what I wanted. The writing is great and the attention to detail is amazing, Blake has really done her research here, and that I can appreciate. I’m just not the audience for this one. ARC provided by the publishers through edelweiss for an honest review

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nana

    I liked the atmosphere at first and it seemed like I could enjoy it, but I didn't, my biggest problem was that I didn't find it believable that a 16 year old teenager was interrogating an alleged culprit, in fact those scenes felt like it was for adults, but then the boy said he had to go to school and reminded me that he was young, also that ending was disappointing, I felt like I read for nothing, waste of time. I liked the atmosphere at first and it seemed like I could enjoy it, but I didn't, my biggest problem was that I didn't find it believable that a 16 year old teenager was interrogating an alleged culprit, in fact those scenes felt like it was for adults, but then the boy said he had to go to school and reminded me that he was young, also that ending was disappointing, I felt like I read for nothing, waste of time.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I'll be honest here guys. I was very excited to jump into All These Bodies. Heck even before it won one of the BOTM polls for my group. It was a new freaking book by Kendare and that's basically the main reason on why I wanted to dive into the book. It also doesn't hurt that the cover gives me all the spooky feels that one should get when it's October. In it, you will meet Marie and Michael. She was found at a murder scene and he's the son of the local sheriff. Somehow their paths are about to me I'll be honest here guys. I was very excited to jump into All These Bodies. Heck even before it won one of the BOTM polls for my group. It was a new freaking book by Kendare and that's basically the main reason on why I wanted to dive into the book. It also doesn't hurt that the cover gives me all the spooky feels that one should get when it's October. In it, you will meet Marie and Michael. She was found at a murder scene and he's the son of the local sheriff. Somehow their paths are about to merge because she will only talk to him about what may or may not have happened. Now, of course, I got all the spooky and creepy vibes that I wanted but I still feel like I have a lot of unanswered questions. The characters themselves were okay but I wasn't overly invested in them either. I just kind of sat back and watched the story be told and tried to put all puzzles pieces together before the big reveal. As for the twists and turns, eh, they could've been better. It's not like they were predictable but I was kind of expecting something more from them. In the end, I'm not sure how I completely feel about this book. Kind of bittersweet at the moment because I was just so excited about this and maybe I might have hyped myself up too much? Not sure but I was wanting something more from this. It definitely had the potential to be a great October read. Maybe even a favorite of mine. It just sort of fell flat in places.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cesar

    3 stars. It's a bit hard to describe how I feel about All These Bodies because my opinions vary from either being disappointed to slightly entertained. And I'm not the only one who feels this way based on the other reviews. If I did have to give my overall thoughts, I would say that I sort of liked it but I wouldn't say it was great. I expected more and sadly I didn't. All These Bodies is about a teen named Michael living in a town in Minessota where the bordering states have been plagued by myste 3 stars. It's a bit hard to describe how I feel about All These Bodies because my opinions vary from either being disappointed to slightly entertained. And I'm not the only one who feels this way based on the other reviews. If I did have to give my overall thoughts, I would say that I sort of liked it but I wouldn't say it was great. I expected more and sadly I didn't. All These Bodies is about a teen named Michael living in a town in Minessota where the bordering states have been plagued by mysterious murders where the victims are found with their entire bodies drained of blood. No suspect has been apprehended until a family in Michael's town is killed and a girl is found at the scene of the crime covered in blood. Michael, who is also an aspiring journalist, is then pulled into helping solve the murders and to see if the girl, Marie Catherine Hale, is the true culprit behind all the murders. What initially drew me in was that the story takes place in the 1950s and there's a 'vampire' going around killing people. When you think of the 1950s you don't think much about paranormal stuff going on so it was a surprise to see a story with that kind of premise. The problem is, is that the story doesn't really know what it wants to be sometimes. One minute it's a character analysis and another is about this so-called vampire. Plus its mystery, if you could call it that, left a lot of questions and little to no answers. I will say that Kendare Blake really put a lot of emphasis on the idea that a girl (or any woman) isn't capable of committing horrible crimes. Since it takes place in the 50s, a lot of people hold onto the belief that a soft-looking girl couldn't have killed so many people. And Blake does push back on that idea by saying that women are more than just that. That anyone is capable of doing horrible things. The mystery of the murders and learning more about Marie was interesting and somewhat enjoyable because of Marie herself. She's very unreliable. You don't know if she's telling the truth or not, or if she's just saying a bunch of white lies. Her ambiguity will be a hit or miss with a lot of people but in my case, I liked it because it made the mystery all the more interesting. Now, with that being said, the mystery and the vampire aspect of the story, does fall in certain parts. This is a short story, just under 300 pages and it has pacing issues where the mystery is sometimes all over the place. What you'll notice from other reviews is the ending just stops abruptly with no answers and I can say that they're right. It is more of an open-ended ending but like I said, there are more questions than answers and it will leave you disappointed in you expected something. That's how I felt. And if I'm being honest, Marie is the only interesting character to stand out amongst everyone else. I never got a clear view of who Michael is (I don't even know if the book describes him because I for the life of my cannot imagine what he looks like). His motives are clear but his lack of characterization makes him feel almost like an empty vessel with only one thing going for him. The same can be said with the other side characters. At the end of the day, All These Bodies was an OK read that should've had more stuff explained. At best, if you're looking for a short read, then I guess it would be a good book to pick up. But other than that, the experience was just OK.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    This is the third Kendare Blake novel I've tried, including Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares. I've also added Three Dark Crowns to my TBR based on my friend's good experience with it, but I don't know if I'll end up trying it out. My take on this author is that her stories seem to be juuuuust missing something. They're almost good. Anna Dressed in Blood is the best of the three I've read, mostly attributable to two likeable characters and a more fully fleshed-out story. A spate of ine This is the third Kendare Blake novel I've tried, including Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares. I've also added Three Dark Crowns to my TBR based on my friend's good experience with it, but I don't know if I'll end up trying it out. My take on this author is that her stories seem to be juuuuust missing something. They're almost good. Anna Dressed in Blood is the best of the three I've read, mostly attributable to two likeable characters and a more fully fleshed-out story. A spate of inexplicable murders trails across both the middle states and newspaper front pages: ANOTHER BLOODLESS FAMILY FOUND DEAD IN HOME. Every midwest town holds its breath, praying the evil passes by until the law can catch the killer... Sheriff's son Mike can hardly believe it: a call in the night has deputies charging to the Carlsons' house. The killer has struck his hometown, but this time they've found someone at the scene - a girl, just younger than Mike, covered head to toe in blood and none of it her own. When authorities from several states demand to interview her, she refuses unless she's allowed to tell her story to Mike alone. I expected her to tell Mike about each incident, but she just makes small talk and flirts, and eventually mentions what happened to her mother and stepfather. She claims she was in the company of an adult male who went on a killing spree, but she never provides the backstory. I can't believe I finished a book about an interview with a perpetrator who never really talked about the crimes. And that's what I meant before. Blake wants readers to feel like things are spooky and unnatural, but misses opportunities to let us feel unnerved. I dunno, I just don't think this author's for me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book was just excellent, a gripping story told from an unexpected angle. Put into a blender: midcentury historical, true crime, police procedural, coming of age in a small town, paranormal romance (and its ugly aftermath), bloody mystery, unreliable narrator. Seriously, Blake just kills it. It's got the feeling of a familiar story rendered wonderfully fresh and strange by a change in perspective and a jump in time. In that sense it's also a super inspiring book for writers in search of a sto This book was just excellent, a gripping story told from an unexpected angle. Put into a blender: midcentury historical, true crime, police procedural, coming of age in a small town, paranormal romance (and its ugly aftermath), bloody mystery, unreliable narrator. Seriously, Blake just kills it. It's got the feeling of a familiar story rendered wonderfully fresh and strange by a change in perspective and a jump in time. In that sense it's also a super inspiring book for writers in search of a story (on this, the first day of NaNoWriMo 2021): it will make you feel like there are infinite ways to make a narrative arc exciting and new! Read this!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Heather *champagne & sweatpants but in a goth way*

    **Slightly spoilery review** I'm kind of annoyed at this book for a few reasons. 1) The lack of connection to the characters due to the story being Michael's "report" on the incidents 2) The way this story took a supernatural turn... or did it??? WHO KNOWS BECAUSE THERE IS NO CONCLUSION 3) The fact that we never find out what truly happened. It seemed like the author just had all these elements but didn't know what to do with them, so she just decided to NOT solve the crime she came up with. I keep p **Slightly spoilery review** I'm kind of annoyed at this book for a few reasons. 1) The lack of connection to the characters due to the story being Michael's "report" on the incidents 2) The way this story took a supernatural turn... or did it??? WHO KNOWS BECAUSE THERE IS NO CONCLUSION 3) The fact that we never find out what truly happened. It seemed like the author just had all these elements but didn't know what to do with them, so she just decided to NOT solve the crime she came up with. I keep picking up these books with ambiguous endings and I hate it. I want answers. I don't want to feel like I wasted my time. And I don't want to have to be like this in order to figure out the story:

  21. 5 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    holy shit, the cover Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram holy shit, the cover Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  22. 4 out of 5

    julia ☆ [owls reads]

    3.5 stars! * The truth is the truth. I'm not really sure where I stand with All These Bodies. It was really not what I was expecting and I'm not sure it quite delivered what it promised? The writing was very engaging, though, and I had a really good time reading the book throughout the last few days. I guess... it entertained me, but some things didn't quite land as they should have, I believe. So first things first, I did love the entire set up around the murders and how Blake descri 3.5 stars! * The truth is the truth. I'm not really sure where I stand with All These Bodies. It was really not what I was expecting and I'm not sure it quite delivered what it promised? The writing was very engaging, though, and I had a really good time reading the book throughout the last few days. I guess... it entertained me, but some things didn't quite land as they should have, I believe. So first things first, I did love the entire set up around the murders and how Blake described them. Marie's introduction and the details of each case were super eerie and I loved the mystery surrounding them. Michael's perspective was great in regard to that: introducing the reader to what happened and taking us on a journey when he became the keeper of Marie's story. I did have a few issues with Marie. I enjoyed her character very much during the first half of the novel because there was little to know about her that didn't involve the murders. I was super curious about who she was (and maybe what she was) and I really liked what Blake did by having Marie say she'd only confess to Michael. That captured my attention right away and made the first half really fun for me to read. With that said, Marie stalled. She dragged things on and never answered questions directly and got upset when Michael dared to ask her about certain things. It got frustrating as the second half went on because I felt like everything was going in circles and moving nowhere. When we did find out part of the truth, though? It was amazing. And that brings me to another thing that bothered me some: we didn't get a clear answer about the mystery and the deaths. It very much seemed like we got half the truth, if that. A lot of things were left up in the air and I felt like there was too much build up for not enough answers. I'm not sure if that was the point? To have this be about Marie's story and what she did/didn't do and not so much about what happened to the people who were killed and who (or what) was behind it. Even so, I did have fun with this and am glad I read it. * Series: Standalone. POV: Told from Michael's POV. Content Warnings: (view spoiler)[Lots of blood. Animal death. Heavily implied sexual abuse. (hide spoiler)] Instalove: (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)] Cliffhanger: A bit? HEA: (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)]

  23. 5 out of 5

    Raven

    Thank you HCC Frenzy for providing me an ARC of this book and exchange for an honest review. I will say although I sometimes enjoy true crime TV shows or documentaries, it’s definitely not my cup of tea when it comes to reading. But I thoroughly enjoyed this book and finished it in two days. I think the author did an excellent job in capturing the small town feel with this book the descriptions were great. I do wish that there were more titbits of information that truly made you feel like you wer Thank you HCC Frenzy for providing me an ARC of this book and exchange for an honest review. I will say although I sometimes enjoy true crime TV shows or documentaries, it’s definitely not my cup of tea when it comes to reading. But I thoroughly enjoyed this book and finished it in two days. I think the author did an excellent job in capturing the small town feel with this book the descriptions were great. I do wish that there were more titbits of information that truly made you feel like you were in the late 50s. I think the story was told in a unique matter where when the story of the crimes are being told in little bits of information but not in chronological order of time. So it was early interesting as a reader to try and fit all these little pieces together. The sort of magical element added to the story was interesting because as a reader it made you actually believe that maybe that was the case. Marie was a very interesting character that I was constantly frustrated with as she was recounting her events to Michael, but it made the relationship between the two characters that much more interesting. My least favourite parts of the book were definitely when Michael was on his own with his friends or family I know it added certain elements to the story but I think it was a little overdone. I think the biggest letdown of the story for me was I found the ending was not as satisfying as I was hoping it would be. I was left with a lot of questions as opposed to answers but I suppose that’s what true crime is sometimes. You don’t always get the full truth by the end of it. This story is a very quick read and a excellent pallet cleanser if you’re reading a lot of the same genre. Even a true crime is not your cup of tea, I would recommend it!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish

    - a 15-year-old girl who is the surviving victim-turned-suspect of a Midwestern murder spree oh my god???

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Historical horror is my jam, and Blake's stand alone is one that'll leave readers with more questions than answers. It's been a bloody summer across the midwest. Or, rather, it hasn't been, though there's been a lot of death. Each of the murders has been bloodless, victims found with a handful of slashes but without blood remaining in their bodies. Now the killer -- or killers -- has turned to Michael Jensen's town in Minnesota, killing a mother, father, and high school student, and standing amon Historical horror is my jam, and Blake's stand alone is one that'll leave readers with more questions than answers. It's been a bloody summer across the midwest. Or, rather, it hasn't been, though there's been a lot of death. Each of the murders has been bloodless, victims found with a handful of slashes but without blood remaining in their bodies. Now the killer -- or killers -- has turned to Michael Jensen's town in Minnesota, killing a mother, father, and high school student, and standing among them pooled in blood is Marie. All signs point to Marie as the killer, but she refuses to talk to anyone except Michael. He's an aspiring journalist and sees this as his opportunity to break a huge story. But the longer he talks with Marie, the less he begins to believe what happened to be clear, true, or easy. She's convinced him that she worked alongside a vampire -- nameless, faceless, long-gone from the crime scene -- and she can't help locate him. But the legal system in Nebraska is hot on the case, pressing for more and more details, hoping to extradite Marie back to Nebraska in order to charge her. The law there allows for conviction for accomplices to murder, not just the murderer, and this would bring peace and closure. But as the truth....or the supposed truth...unravels, it becomes much more complex. Who is Marie? Where did she come from? What happened to her family and what did her stepfather do to her? And is that story or her relationship to her stepfather the narrative she wants in the news? This is a clever take on vampires, but it's also based loosely on two separate murder sprees in the midwest during this time. It's got Midwest Gothic vibes, wrapped in an In Cold Blood style true fictionalized crime narrative. There's not a romance, though clearly Michael develops some serious feelings for Marie. They're not romantic; they're deeply emotional, and readers who want a story without a romance will do well here. Likewise, again, a fresh vampire story -- maybe -- and though Marie's voice is rarely offered in the story, as it's told through Michael's perspective, her character is one of the most compelling and complex throughout. I see a little bit of Holly Black with Robin Wasserman (ala The Waking Dark), and, of course, In Cold Blood.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Victoria ♡

    Oh I was so excited for this, so excited when I started but I just feel…let down. It felt like that entire story could have been a small 50 page section of another book or some kind of intro…just nothing happened! It felt like the start of something not a full story. I kept reading and reading, turning the page expecting something exciting to happen and it just didn’t. The ending too, don’t even get me started, it was like reading a whole bunch of nothing for no pay off at all, there was just no Oh I was so excited for this, so excited when I started but I just feel…let down. It felt like that entire story could have been a small 50 page section of another book or some kind of intro…just nothing happened! It felt like the start of something not a full story. I kept reading and reading, turning the page expecting something exciting to happen and it just didn’t. The ending too, don’t even get me started, it was like reading a whole bunch of nothing for no pay off at all, there was just nothing to it! The ending annoyed me so much, no real conclusion (don’t get me wrong I usually love a cliffhanger), no explanation, just meh. I really hope someone got some enjoyment out of this book, I really do because the writing is great, just there’s no substance! I’ll give it 2* because the idea was there, there was so much that could have been done that just wasn’t! Ahhh I wanted more! The premise is just so good ugh. This just fell so flat for me, it had so much potential but my god…

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brooke — brooklynnnnereads

    4.5 stars This book is for all those true crime lovers out there. Although there's somewhat of a twist when it comes to the murders (I'm being intentionally vague here to avoid spoiler territory). This novel is a perfect read for Autumn and Winter with the accompanying spookiness of the seasons. It had the perfect amount of mystery, thrill, and horror which had me creeped out but also unable to put this book down. There were many twists and turns along the way and I absolutely loved the unanswer 4.5 stars This book is for all those true crime lovers out there. Although there's somewhat of a twist when it comes to the murders (I'm being intentionally vague here to avoid spoiler territory). This novel is a perfect read for Autumn and Winter with the accompanying spookiness of the seasons. It had the perfect amount of mystery, thrill, and horror which had me creeped out but also unable to put this book down. There were many twists and turns along the way and I absolutely loved the unanswered questions that were left at the conclusion of this novel. ***Thank you to HCC Frenzy for this ARC in exchange for an honest review***

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Imagine Leave it to Beaver, but with murder. Really. Envision this wholesome town on TV. Everything is in black and white. Except the blood and Marie’s red lips. Kendare Blake effortlessly captured this 1958 small town vibe, with all of its pure goodness, barring that one rotten apple stinking it all up. A string of murders in the Midwest that leaves the victims drained of blood comes to an unsettling end when a family is killed and a teenage girl, Marie, is found at the scene, covered in the blo Imagine Leave it to Beaver, but with murder. Really. Envision this wholesome town on TV. Everything is in black and white. Except the blood and Marie’s red lips. Kendare Blake effortlessly captured this 1958 small town vibe, with all of its pure goodness, barring that one rotten apple stinking it all up. A string of murders in the Midwest that leaves the victims drained of blood comes to an unsettling end when a family is killed and a teenage girl, Marie, is found at the scene, covered in the blood from their drained bodies. She is taken into custody, but refuses to tell her story to anyone other than the local sheriff’s son, Michael. But is she telling him the truth? No one seems to think so. After all, vampires aren’t real. Brimming with thoughtfulness and emotion, All These Bodies is a story of good and bad and that fuzzy line in between. While it’s largely character driven, with its focus zooming in on the relationship between Michael and Marie, there are plenty of eerie things happening in the background. There is a deliberate ambiguity throughout that allows the reader to consider how a villain is made and what, exactly, it means to be a monster. The graphic descriptions are minimal, as the terror really lies within what people cannot see, understand, or control. And that ending! I could not have asked for a better one!! While I’ve read Kendare Blake’s story contributions to Violent Ends and His Hideous Heart, this was my first experience with one of her novels. It’s been a long time since I was ready to check under the bed, pushing the dust bunnies aside, in search of change to buy an author’s entire backlist, but that’s what All These Bodies did to me. I’ve already gotten price quotes from my local indie bookstore on many of Blake’s older books and I’ve preordered her Buffy continuation that’s coming out in January. I know it’s a bold declaration after just one book, but Kendare Blake is absolutely a new favorite author for me! All These Bodies was brilliant and I need more stories like this in my life.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anik-MamaBearsBookshelf

    I was soo excited about this book, it had everything I love in books. Mysteries and vampires and crime. The story didn't disappoint but that ending was just meh. I was a little let down by it. It was just so simple for a pretty strange story. I really enjoyed the mysteries and creepiness of the story with so many details and backstory. I had a very hard time putting the book down. I think the author did an awesome job. I really enjoyed her writing. I'm a big Kendare Blake fan. I also LOVE the bo I was soo excited about this book, it had everything I love in books. Mysteries and vampires and crime. The story didn't disappoint but that ending was just meh. I was a little let down by it. It was just so simple for a pretty strange story. I really enjoyed the mysteries and creepiness of the story with so many details and backstory. I had a very hard time putting the book down. I think the author did an awesome job. I really enjoyed her writing. I'm a big Kendare Blake fan. I also LOVE the book cover it's really attractive. I really enjoyed this book and it's perfect for the spooky season coming up. I also think that relation between Micheal and Marie is pretty cool.

  30. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) All These Bodies will start your fall off with all the thrills. The unsettling way a murder in a small town sets off a firecracker of uncertainty and fear. Or how terrified people are of girls who dismantle what they expect. Beginning with intrigue, All These Bodies is a story about truth and belief. All the room for possibilities, twisting power plays, and reasonable doubt in bet (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) All These Bodies will start your fall off with all the thrills. The unsettling way a murder in a small town sets off a firecracker of uncertainty and fear. Or how terrified people are of girls who dismantle what they expect. Beginning with intrigue, All These Bodies is a story about truth and belief. All the room for possibilities, twisting power plays, and reasonable doubt in between. How the truth loses meaning and images and illusions begin to mean more. Marie's story is revealed in fits and bursts. The story of a girl wrapped up in mystery in a world that wants to distill her story into words they understand. As we learn more about her story, we realize that it, at the end of the day, seems to matter less and less what she says as the narrative around her is constructed. The holes poked in clouds which drift across moonlit nights. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

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