Staff Review: Cloudland – Joseph Olshan

Reviewed by Jilles

Cloudland - Joseph OlshanIf you like your crime more literary Cloudland by Joseph Olshan is your book. Catherine Winslow, a former investigative journalist who has given up her career and is now writing a household column so she doesn’t have to deal with editors, lives in rural Vermont in an area called Cloudland. One day while walking outside her house she discovers the body of a woman in the melting snow who disappeared months ago. The woman is one is one of a series of women who have disappearded in the area.

Catherine soon finds a connection between the victims and an obscure and unfinished work by 19th century author Wilkie Collins that describes how bodies are found ‘next to large, tumbled-down trees’ with ‘religious writings of a fanatical nature in the pockets of their soiled clothing.’ Catherine suspects the murderer is using the Collins work as a blueprint. But she is the only one who has a copy of this rare book in the state of Vermont. Some of her neighbors have read the book. Do they know anything about the murders? And so begins the search for a serial killer haunting the Cloudland area.

Cloudland based on a true crime story: the serial murders of 6 women that occurred in the Connecticut River Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire, crimes that were never solved. It is very well written, nicely plotted, and has many story lines going on which makes all the characters really interesting… and a little suspicious.

Jilles, 2015Jilles is ABC Amsterdam’s Crime FictionConsciousnessEastern Philosophy, and Film & TV buyer.

More staff reviews can be found here.

An ebook of Cloudland can be found here.