Cainsville is a series of novels written by Kelley Armstrong. Beginning in 2013, the books center on Olivia Taylor Jones. Not all families are the same. And people learn that they are adopted every single day, so it’s hardly the most disturbing of occurrences.
Order of Cainsville Series
However, for Jones the revelation shattered her life. It wasn’t enough that the people she thought were her parents had only adopted her. Even worse was the fact that Todd and Pamela Larsen, her real parents, were notorious serious killers that would spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Jones’ life is only further complicated by the unwanted publicity that her fiancé and adopted family must weather when this revelation finally comes to light. Rather than face the maelstrom, Jones chooses to flee, eventually finding herself in Cainsville, a town with particular significance to her parents’ history and the events that drove them down their dark path.
However, Cainsville is hardly inviting. And enemies wait around every corner, determined to keep their secrets and persistent in their efforts to stop her investigations.
Kelley Armstrong kicked the series off with Omens. The first book in the series, Omens introduced readers to Olivia Taylor Jones’ perfect life and then slowly destroyed it, forcing the protagonist to seek out the secrets surrounding her parents’ crimes.
Kelley studied psychology. She loves to delve into the identities of her characters, causing them to question who they are and where they fit. She also enjoys taking them on journeys during which they learn to embrace their roots even in the face of resistance from the rest of the world.
The Cainsville books do just that. They place Olivia Taylor Jones into a situation where she must question what she thought she knew even while rediscovering her identity.
Best Cainsville Books
The Cainsville books have no notable awards to speak of; they have, none the less, been widely accepted by Kelley Armstrong’s many followers, with some of the best books in the Cainsville series including the following:
Omens: Olivia Taylor Jones lived a perfect life. As the twenty-four-year-old daughter of a wealthy family, Olivia’s Ivy League Education and engagement to a handsome tech firm CEO put her on the fast track to a happy ending.
But it all comes crashing down when Olivia learns that Todd and Pamela Larsen are her real parents. News of the notorious serial killers, who are serving a life sentence, gives Olivia no opportunity to absorb the shock as the unwanted publicity drives her to flee to the small town of Cainsville in Illinois.
The old community could hold the truth to Todd and Pamela Larsen’s past. Pamela was quite certain that if Olivia delved into their last crime, their innocence would be proven. And Olivia went about doing just that.
With Gabriel, her mother’s lawyer, by her side, Olivia begins to discover her gifts, abilities that haven’t surfaced since she was a child and which prove useful to the community of Cainsville. But she also draws the attention and ire of unknown enemies.
Fans of Kelley Armstrong should control their expectations before reading this book because it isn’t the paranormal or urban fantasy the author is known for. In fact, only a tiny percentage of the book delves into the paranormal.
The books also feature very little in the way of romance.
Visions: The second book in the Cainsville series finds Olivia Taylor Jones still living in the secluded town of Cainsville. Olivia and Gabriel’s success from the first book is short-lived, especially when Gabriel’s past mistakes begin to tear the team apart at a time when Olivia really needs Gabriel.
Olivia begins working the case of a young woman who went missing some days ago; the same woman whose corpse she finds in her car, dressed to look like her. Olivia pursues the case because the body disappeared quickly before anyone else could see it.
Olivia thinks the woman was killed as a warning to her but she doesn’t know why.
This book does a great job of building upon Gabriel and Olivia’s friendship. It also thickens the plot surrounding all the Cainsville mysteries.
Other Book Series you May Like
The “Casey Duncan Series” by Kelley Armstrong centers on Casey Duncan as a homicide detective. No one knows that she killed a man in college, specifically the grandson of a mobster. She tries to do her job even while knowing that her past crime will eventually catch up to her.
The “Age of Legends Trilogy” by Kelley Armstrong. Moria and Ashyn are the keeper and the seeker, twin sisters that must control the enraged souls of the damned in the Forest of the Dead where the worst criminals in the Empire are cast. Their attempts to overcome personal tragedy throw Moria and Ashyn against terrible enemies.