This my second book of Kate Cann's which I read this weekend. Allow me to just say: they are not small books either, they are just that obsessively unputdownable!
In Possessing Rayne we are introduced to Rayne who lives in an estate, somewhere in London. She shares a small flat with her mother and her baby brother Jelly. She has a boyfriend called Damian who is handsome and tough and who clearly likes having her his side. You get the impression that Rayne is a pretty girl and aware of it, but it is not all she is, which is very refreshing. Rayne isn't happy in her situation and she decides to make a change. She applies for a job in a tea room which is part of a Morton's Keep, some distance away, effectively cutting herself off from her too needy mother and a boyfriend who is on the cusp of becoming a big problem with his obsessiveness.
Kate relies heavily on your fear of the unknown at the start of the book, working deep into your psyche the fact that all is not what you see, there are more things here, just under the surface. She spins the story along at a good pace and Rayne meets St John (pronounced Sinjun) who does sound quite a dish, along with his little coterie of friends whilst walking around the actual town of Marcle Lees. But you can't shake the feeling that something is not right. They are too friendly, too keen...but Rayne plays along because honestly, what could they gain by playing her false, right?
The most important and pleasurable thing about Possessing Rayne for me was the fact that the author clearly enjoyed bringing in a strong strain of paganism and magic into the book and it is so beautifully written whilst being clear and to the point. When I got to the end of the book and I noticed that she's decided to bring Rayne back for a sequel, I was inordinately pleased. I can't wait to go back and attend another fire festival with the fire dancers.
The book is very gothic, very noir and will no doubt garner Kate Cann even more readers than she already has on both sides of the "age" divide. I know at least of three friends who will be getting copies of this!