The Halo Effect

The Halo Effect by Anne D. LeClaire
Published by Lake Union Publishing
Expected publication 1 April 2017
350 pages
Kindle First

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In this tour de force, a father, shaken by tragedy, tries to avenge his daughter’s murder—and restore his family’s shattered life.

It was supposed to be a typical October evening for renowned portrait artist Will Light. Over dinner of lamb tagine, his wife, Sophie, would share news about chorus rehearsals for the upcoming holiday concert, and their teenage daughter, Lucy, would chatter about French club and field hockey. Only Lucy never came home. Her body was found, days later, in the woods.

The Eastern Seaboard town of Port Fortune used to be Will’s comfort. Now, there’s no safe harbour for him. Not even when Father Gervase asks Will to paint portraits of saints for the new cathedral. Using the townspeople as models, Will sees in each face only a mask of the darkness of evil. And he just might be painting his daughter’s killer.

As Will navigates his rage and heartbreak, Sophie tries to move on; Father Gervase becomes an unexpected ally; and Rain, Lucy’s best friend, shrouds herself in a near-silent fugue. Their paths collide in a series of inextricably linked, dark, dangerous moments that could lead to their undoing…or to their redemption.


Every day is ordinary. Until it isn’t.


This was my first time reading the author. I chose this for this month’s Kindle First selection because I liked the blurb and have a soft spot for murdered daughters and damaged parents.

The Halo Effect is excellent and I loved it. LeClaire is a very talented writer and I was impressed by her rich, vivid and almost haunting prose style. I though the characters were amazing, they are so human it was painful to read at times. Will and Sophie are very much alive and their pain was uncomfortable to read at times. My heart bled for them. Their reactions following Lucy’s murder are completely believable. I had no idea who the killer was. At one point I thought it might even be the priest. When his identity and motivations are revealed I was gob-smacked. I loved the ending and Will’s response when he finds out who killed his daughter – an unmissable moment. The final resolution is happy and satisfactory without being twee. Overall, I loved The Halo Effect and would recommend it and plan to read more by this author.




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