“House of Stone” By: T. K. Thorne
“House of Stone”
Author: T. K. Thorne
Publisher: Camel Press
Price: $16.95 (Paper)
In “House of Rose,” the first volume of what will be at least a trilogy, Rose Brighton learned, slowly and at times very painfully, that she is a witch, a member of an ancient secret family, a tribe which possesses certain powers.
She can see the recent past a little, and she can see the future, although not very far, a gift called “scrying.” She learns that her visions of the future are not absolute; they can be changed.
Her visons of the near past are extremely useful since Rose, now only about 23, a summa cum laude graduate of the U of A, in psychology and art, is a police detective in Birmingham.
Rose is recovering from some sensational horrors. In “House of Rose,” she was tortured and nearly killed in a secret cave in the side of Red Mountain, under Vulcan, and is just returning to work.
T. K. Thorne was herself a police officer in Birmingham for 22 years so “House of Stone,” like its predecessor, is an informed, accurate, fast-moving police procedural.
With her partner, the hunky Tracey Lohan, Rose investigates a suspicious death at UAB medical center. Dr Benjamin M. Crompton appears to have died of an accidental overdose of insulin.
Rose has a vision and knows it was murder.
She convinces Lohan to go along with this theory and they learn that Crompton was possibly on the verge of a breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes, with a new drug use that would have cost the pharmaceutical industry billions in profits. The action commences.
Throughout, Rose is learning to use her powers while hiding them. She is also trying to discover who else in her life is a secret warlock out to kill her.
Soon, there are more killings, a kidnapping, repeated assaults on Rose, and threats to her family. Again.
The action takes Rose all over Birmingham—which is great fun.
Rose lives at Southside. There are scenes outdoors at Five Points, in Southside, the Swann/ Simpson Mansion, a scene up in Vulcan, and one at the YMCA where Rose swims for exercise and to calm her nerves.
In “House of Rose” there was a dining scene at The Club. Here, a scene I especially liked takes place in Highlands Bar and Grill, where Rose goes to meet with a dangerous warlock, member of the House of Iron, a rich and powerful fellow. Upon entering she learns that he has bought out the restaurant that night. They are the only diners.
They eat Tuna Tartare Towers for appetizers. She has red snapper; he has lamb chops.
In the course of things we learn more about the Houses. House of Rose is most benign, drawing their power from the “Living Green,” that is the coal deposits formed from prehistoric vegetation.
The houses of Iron and Stone draw their powers from iron ore and limestone, respectively, all of which are in abundance in Birmingham.
We learn that members of the House of Stone are very muscular and weigh abnormally more than they should. They avoid scales. Iron can control others’ behavior with a touch.
In a scene on a yacht off of Orange Beach we learn that none of the houses can draw on their powers when on the water.
Good for summit meetings.
House of Iron is out to kill Rose, which would mean the extinction of her line since she is the last fertile female.
But, stubbornly, Rose does not want children.
Children means changing diapers, which is “just plain terrifying.” Not to mention that he or she would definitely be a warlock or witch, “a tiny person with the potential for magical calamity.”
Nevertheless, we know how this eventually has to end.