Oh my goodness, YES! This was my reaction when I first saw the cover of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD. (Covers are extremely important people, to evoke emotions and desire to pick the book up off the shelf!) And the blurb didn’t disappoint. I read that the main character, Cas Lowood, killed the dead. Then I wondered how he could kill someone that was, well, already dead. Which was exactly why I had to read the book!
Cas travels around the country with his “kitchen-witch mother” while killing misbehaving ghosts. His weapon of choice is a wicked anthame he inherited from his father—who was murdered by a ghost he’d attempted to kill. Cas explains he doesn’t completely understand the power of his anthame, but he believes it will only work for him. He strikes his targets down with an artistic slashing confidence as ghosts disappear so that they will never murder another living victim.
Then Cas gets a tip about Anna Korlov, a ghost murdered at the age of sixteen. She’d been on her way to a dance when someone nearly cut her head off, causing her beautiful white dress to be drenched in blood. She had been murdering anyone that stepped foot in her home since 1958. But when Cas finds himself lying helpless on her living room floor after a jerk acquaintance bashed his head with a broken board, Anna spares Cas and murders the jerk by splitting him in two gruesome parts.
For once, Cas has trouble using his anthame on a ghost, although he knows he should. He knows she’ll keep killing others, even if she won’t kill him. But let me assure you, his fascination about why she spared him does not lead to a typical love story with mushy-mushy crap. No. He still attempts to do his inherited duty and kill her, and strangely, she wants him to kill her. So, you see, I had to keep reading!
The author does a great job of describing how Cas understands he has to have a life of solitude and that he feels out of place with the living. So when he winds up with a couple of unexpected friends who help him along his journey, I was surprised. Kendare describes Cas’ life and the ghosts surrounding him with exquisite creepiness. But I won’t tell you if he murders Anna, nor will I tell you if he crosses paths with his father’s murderer. (What, you weren’t wondering about that? Riiiight.)
Have fun reading!