Serpent in the Heather is a strong entry into Kay Kenyon's Dark Talents series.
There was an uptick in action from the last book. While At the Table of Wolves was good, it was a bit slower than I expected. There are two interlocking plots. The first involves hunting down a serial killer. The second deals with a cult of fascist-minded spiritualists. They have an unhealthy reverence for Talents, the super. made for a more tense, action driven story.
When I reviewed the previous book, I mentioned Edward VIII. Particularly, his openness to Hitler's policies. I was interested in how Kenyon would handle that aspect of history. She gave the main villains of the story, the Coswells, a personal connection to the King, which was good to see.
The story's center was an interesting family parallel. Kenyon takes the Tavistocks and contrasts their dynamics against the Cosletts. While Kim and Julian's relationship is still rather cool, they're cordial to each other. The progress from the first book is small, but it's a good first step. I look forward to watching their relationship to continue evolving.
The Coswells, though, are rather divided. Powell, the son, struggles against his mother's overwhelming expectations. She wants him to be her successor, but his lack of a Talent is problematic. Also, her personal goals don't align. Powell wants a romantic relationship, which his mother has forbidden. As Kim investigates their family's cult, Powell feels an attraction for her (which she does not reciprocate). The Coslett's arguments lead to some great character inner conflict. This tension drives the climax to a bittersweet but satisfying end.
If you're already following this series, Serpent in the Heather is a no brainer. If you're new, this story stands alone well enough to act as a good starting point. I highly recommend it!