Book Review: Dying for the Past by TJ O’Connor and The Egyptian File by Janis Susan May

Dying for the PastDying for the Past
A Gumshoe Ghost Mystery #2
TJ O’Connor
Midnight Ink, January 2015
ISBN 978-0-7387-4206-9
Trade Paperback

First of all, the detective is dead. He’s the ghost of a cop, shot in the previous book, which I am about to read because I really enjoyed this one.

Oliver “Tuck” Tucker attends the charity ball organized by his widow at Vincent House, during which someone shoots a mysterious guest dead. Chaos ensues, of course, as wealthy guests panic and someone steals the donations. Tuck’s old partner and his troops fight to bring order. No one saw the shooter. No one even knows if the corpse was the target, as his wife received two threatening letters–or said she did. Tuck’s investigating when he’s pulled into a time-warp by Vincent Calabrese, the dead gangster who previously owned the house. “Bring me the book, or else,” Vincent says, and the chase is on.

What is the book? Who has it. Does it have anything to do with the murder? Tuck needs to find out.

Tuck doesn’t know why he’s a ghost, or why his widow Angel and his big black lab, Hercule, can hear him. So can Bear, his old partner, though he won’t admit it. Tuck does know that if he must, he’s willing to die again to protect his wife and his friends. With threats both normal and paranormal, with old family secrets exploding and old crimes coming to light, this book careens from surprise to surprise. It’s suspenseful, it’s funny, it’s well worth reading.

Reviewed by Marilyn Nulman, October 2015.

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The Egyptian FileThe Egyptian File
Janis Susan May
Sefkhat-Awbi Books, August 2014
ISBN 978-1-941520-08-6
Trade Paperback

An exotic locale, a desperate art expert and a handsome Egyptologist star in this story of romantic suspense from Janis Susan May. Melissa Warrender was estranged from her father for years, so when he offered her a partnership in his Manhattan art gallery, she leapt at the chance to work with him. He was a specialist in antiquities, she in seventeenth and eighteenth century European paintings.

Melissa receives a phone call which sounds like her father, telling her to retrieve a mysterious file in Cairo. But how can this be—she buried her father months ago. Is he alive, or is someone playing a trick on her? She does not realize that she is targeted both by her father’s rival in the antiquities business and an international task force set up to catch smugglers.

David El-Baradi is a professor of Egyptology in London, currently in Cairo to help the task force. He goes undercover as a taxi driver to help Melissa evade the murderous son of her father’s rival. Melissa’s file turns out to be a message written in hieroglyphs, and David convinces her that he is an underemployed scholar who can help her. But on their trail is Gerard Thenardier, son of her father’s rival and her former lover.

It’s an Indiana Jones-type adventure, with a steamy romance thrown in. The author dedicates the book to Barbara Mertz (aka Elizabeth Peters), author of the Amelia Peabody series.

Reviewed by Susan Belsky, January 2016.

Book Reviews: The Sparrow’s Blade by Kenneth R. Lewis, Headhunters by Jo Nesbo, The Cut by George Pelecanos, The Infernals by John Connolly, and Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke

The Sparrow's BladeThe Sparrow’s Blade
Kenneth R. Lewis
Krill Press, February 2011
ISBN: 978-0-9821443-8-1
Trade Paperback

As in this author’s debut novel, Little Blue Whales, which was warmly received, this one also takes place in Cutter City, OR, and features Kevin Kearnes and Thud Compton.  It is now a few years after the harrowing experience described in the earlier book in which they were almost killed, and their roles have changed:  Kearnes, the former Chief of Police, is now with the Dept. of Homeland Security in Portland, and Compton has replaced him as Police Chief.

The book opens with Kevin traveling to Cutter City with his fiancée Britt McGraw and his sons by a former marriage, to be married as well as to visit with the Comptons.  Little did any of them know that a sword on display at the local library, a relic of World War II when a Japanese pilot dropped two bombs in the vicinity and then crashed, would result in the turmoil that it did when it is stolen.

The excellent portrayal of the characters, coupled with the tension of the plot, maintain reader interest on the same high level of the predecessor book.  The level of writing remains at the high level of Little Blue Whales which presumably will continue in the forthcoming The Helical Vane.  Needless to say, Sparrow (the name for the sword, btw) is recommended.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, January 2012.

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HeadhuntersHeadhunters
Jo Nesbo
Vintage Books, September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-307-94868-7
Trade Paperback

Turning his attention away from his highly regarded Harry Hole series, the author has written a compelling standalone.  While the background of Roger Brown, as a top headhunter of corporate officials in Oslo, provides some interesting and useful information on how to judge and place candidates, it is the main crime plot and character descriptions that are undeniably gripping.

Roger seems to have it all, except sufficient income to pay for the art gallery he has helped his wife, Diana, establish and operate. Thus, to supplement his need for cash to deal with the operating deficit, he steals art from candidates he interviews for jobs.  Until, that is, he encounters Clas Greve, whom he meets one evening at his wife’s gallery.  And the plot thickens.

Jo Nesbo, in this novel, has proved he is an author capable of writing almost anything.  It is superbly formulated, with humor and irony. The plot has more twists and turns in its concluding pages than a mountain road.  It needs no further recommendation other than to go get a copy and revel in a job well done.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, January 2012.

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The CutThe Cut
George Pelecanos
A Reagan Arthur Book/Little, Brown and Company, September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-316-07842-9
Hardcover

In the first novel of a new series, we are introduced to Spero Lucas, a just-returned Iraq war veteran, working as an investigator for a Washington, D.C. defense attorney with a sideline of recovering “lost” property for a 40 per cent cut of its value.  In the caper he undertakes in this initial foray, he seems to bite off more than he can chew.

The attorney is defending a top marijuana peddler, and the client asks for Spero to visit him in jail.  He tells Spero that his deliveries are being stolen and he is out of money, and would appreciate recovery of either the merchandise or the cash.  The assignment takes Spero off into all kinds of action, some of which is kind of far-fetched.

Mr. Pelecanos is well-known for his characterizations and his use of the nation’s Capital as background, and this book is no exception. Somehow, however, using Spero as an example of a footloose vet just returned from the desert just didn’t quite ring true.  Some of his friends who served with him there do exhibit the plight of wounded, disabled marines, or just plain still unemployed, somewhat more realistically.  That said, the novel is written with the author’s accustomed flair, and the plot moves at a rapid pace.  Certainly, the action is vivid, and the reader keeps turning pages.

Recommended.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, January 2012.

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The InfernalsThe Infernals
John Connolly
Atria Books, September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4308-4
Hardcover

This novel, the sequel to The Gates, picks up 18 months after the events described in that book, after young Samuel Johnson [just turned 13], assisted by his faithful dog, Boswell, repelled an invasion of earth by the forces of evil.  The two books are quite a departure for the author, whose Charlie Parker mysteries are highly regarded and widely read.  These are categorized as YA books, laced with pseudo-scientific and amusing footnotes.  [It should perhaps be noted that the tenth Charlie Parker novel, The Burning Soul, has also been released.]

This time around Samuel, accompanied by four dwarfs and the truck in which they were riding, an ice cream truck and its vendor-driver, and two policemen and their patrol car, are instead transported by the ogre Ba’al in the form of Mrs. Abernathy to the netherworld to present the boy to her master, the Great Malevolence, as a gift in an effort to regain his favor.  And so we follow their adventures as they experience the strange land and seek a way to get back home.

Written at times with tongue firmly in cheek, the little nuggets of information on a wide variety of subjects are both informative and often just plain funny.  A very enjoyable read that is highly recommended.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, January 2012.

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Feast Day of FoolsFeast Day of Fools
James Lee Burke
Simon & Schuster, September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4311-4
Hardcover

Against the bleak terrain of southern Texas, a morality play featuring Sheriff Hackberry Holland is played out.  It begins with a man who escapes his captors, who had planned to turn him over to Al Qaeda, for a price, for his knowledge of drone technology.  Not only is he sought by his former captors, but the FBI, among others, as well.  Hack, and his deputy, Pam Tibbs, become involved in the interplay.

This is a complicated novel, one in which the author delves into a wide variety of moral and ethical values, adding Hack’s past experiences as a POW during the Korean Conflict, to raise additional questions of right and wrong.  And bringing in The Preacher as a counterpoint further adds to the complexity of not only the plot, but also Hack’s integrity.

James Lee Burke’s prose is as stark as his descriptions of the Texas and Mexican landscapes, and the characters he introduces are deftly portrayed, both good and evil.  He has presented an intricate plot in this, his 30th novel, and the fifth featuring the Texas sheriff.

Recommended.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, January 2012.

Book Reviews: Cut, Paste, Kill by Marshall Karp, Long Gone by Alafair Burke, Before the Poison by Peter Robinson, and A Darker Shade of Blue by John Harvey

Cut, Paste, Kill
Marshall Karp
Minotaur Books, August 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-37824-0
Trade Paperback

A woman, the wife of the British consul in Los Angeles, is found stabbed to death in the ladies room of a posh hotel, a scrapbook recalling her transgression, killing a young boy leaving a school bus while DWI, nearby.  Lomax and Biggs, the comic LAPD homicide detectives, catch the call. Then they learn that the FBI has been investigating two other murders with identical MO’s for the previous two weeks.  Each victim was guilty of some offense but had escaped punishment for one reason or another.  And we have the makings of another serial murder mystery.

Additional murders take place, and the wisecracking detectives, teamed up with the FBI, are hard-pressed to solve the case.  Meanwhile, Lomax and his girlfriend are pre-occupied with caring for a precocious seven-year-old girl when her mother has to go to China to tend to her dying parent, and Biggs volunteers to write a screenplay based on a concept of Lomax’ dad (two ex-cops driving an 18-wheeler and solving crimes on the road, entitled “Semi-Justice”).

Not only is the humor twisted, but so is the plot, which keeps the reader twisting with every unanticipated turn in the story.  The one-liners come often enough to take the hard edge off a grisly subject and a detailed police procedural.  A welcome addition to the series, in which this is the fourth entry, and recommended.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, July 2011.

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Long Gone
Alafair Burke
Harper, June 2011
ISBN: 978-0-061-99918-5
Hardcover

The author has written six previous novels, but this is her first standalone, so her familiar characters and themes do not apply. Nevertheless, she has demonstrated an ability to take an idea and run with it, in this case two separate themes with some common threads.

The main plot involves Alice Humphrey, daughter of a famous motion picture director and his Academy Award-winning wife.  Somewhat estranged from her father, and wishing to demonstrate her independence, she presently is unemployed when a “dream” job falls into her lap.  It turns out to be part of a plot against her and her dad, but that is as far as we should go in divulging the plot.  A subplot involves a missing teenager.  The commonality of the two themes involves the effects of the relationships between the mother of the missing girl and Alice and the law enforcement personnel with whom each is involved.  Enough said.

Ms. Burke has amply demonstrated in the past her knowledge of the law and the various people involved in enforcing it, and this novel shows her insights into how detectives go about their business.  Here empathy for the female characters is obvious, but the male characters seem to be stereotypes.  On the whole, however, the novel is an excellent read, and is recommended.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, October 2011.

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Before the Poison
Peter Robinson
Hodder & Stoughton, August 2011
ISBN: 978-1-444-70483-9
Hardcover
Also available in the US from William Morrow & Company, February 2012

Diverting his attention from the popular and successful Inspector Banks series, the author has written a murder mystery of a different genre.  Instead of a police procedural, he has undertaken to use a variety of literary devices to unravel the truth behind a death that took place sixty years ago.

It begins when Chris Lowndes, reeling from the death of his wife, decides to buy a home on the Yorkshire Dales.  He purchases Kilnsgate House, a large, bleak, isolated structure in which he hopes to recover from his depression, and, perhaps write a sonata instead of the incidental music for motion pictures which he did for many years on the West Coast of the US.  No sooner does he take possession than he becomes haunted by its past: Grace Fox, the former owner, was accused and convicted of poisoning her husband, a respected local physician.  And she was hanged for it.

Chris becomes so obsessed that he endeavors to “discover” the truth, initially convinced that she was innocent of the charge.  The author leads the reader (and Chris) from supposition to fact, alternating excerpts of Grace’s wartime diary (she was a nurse, first in Singapore, then escaping the Japanese, suffering a series of devastating experiences, finally serving in France before returning to her husband at Kilnsgate House) and various interviews with aged characters, including her younger lover now living in Paris and a man who as a seven-year-old lived with the Foxes for a time as an evacuee at the beginning of World War II.

The shifts in the plot, as Chris conducts his “investigation,” are truly ingenious, keeping the reader off balance to a fare-thee-well.  The characters are well-drawn, and the author undertook deep research to create Grace’s diary.  While the novel may seem at times somewhat dry and slow to read, it constantly draws the reader forward and is well worth reading, and it is highly recommended.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, December 2011.

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A Darker Shade of Blue
John Harvey
Pegasus, February 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60598-284-7
Hardcover

Of the 18 short stories in this collection, four feature Charlie Resnick, seven north London detective Jack Kiley, and one in which they both appear.  Each, of course, is a well-known protagonist featured in prior John Harvey novels.  And their characters come through even more strongly in a short story.

As Mr. Harvey writes in an introduction, the short story form gives an author greater latitude to experiment with an idea or character to learn whether or not use can be made later in the novel format.  The extremely well-written, well-constructed short stories are a prime example of that observation.

Not lost in the shuffle is Harvey‘s fascination with the world of jazz, nor his descriptions of London and outlying areas, especially the more depressing aspects of English life and the world of crime.

Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Ted Feit, February 2012.

Book Reviews: Long Gone by Alafair Burke, Heaven’s Fire by Sandra Balzo, and A Dark Dividing by Sarah Rayne


Long Gone

Alafair Burke
Harper, June 2011
ISBN No. 978-0061999185
Hardcover

Alice Humphrey’s chance meeting with Drew Campbell at first glance appears to be a lucky break. Alice is unemployed and Drew Campbell offers her a chance to run a gallery and be her own boss.  Alice’s father is a famous Hollywood producer and Alice had starred in some roles as a child star.     Alice harbors some bad feelings towards her father and this opportunity to do something exciting on her own without any help from her family is just too good to pass up.

Alice took Drew up on his offer and opened the Highline Gallery.  Drew’s story was that his client was willing to finance the gallery with the provision that Hans Schuler, an artist his client had an interest in, would have a private showing at the gallery.  Schuler’s art was anything but normal but Alice felt that she would be able to pick the art shown at the gallery once she got Schuler’s show out of the way.  Schuler’s art did sell but it was more from on line orders that walk in customers.  The artist had a gimmick of sending a jump drive of his art with each purchase.  Alice’s friend Lily at first thought Drew Campbell was just blowing smoke and would never rent the space for the gallery but later encouraged Alice to accept the position.  Alice had just gotten the opening over with when suddenly the Highline Gallery is being picketed by a fanatic church organization.  The church declared that the art displayed in the gallery was actually child pornography.

Alice’s attempts to contact Drew Campbell or his investor were unsuccessful.  Drew finally called Alice to meet him early in the morning at the gallery.  Alice arrived at the gallery to find the door unlocked, the gallery empty and a dead body on the floor.

Alice is interviewed by the police and she feels that the police aren’t buying her story.  To make matters worse when the police search the gallery premises they find the fingerprint of a young girl who has been reported missing by her mother.

As well as Alice’s story, Long Gone covers one police officer’s diligent search for the missing girl whose fingerprint is found in the gallery.  An FBI agent discovers that he has a direct connection to the man who Alice knows as Drew Campbell.  He feels Drew Campbell was responsible for the death of his sister.  The police in charge of the murder investigation where Alice is a suspect feel they have found the guilty party and do not really want to investigate other options.  Meanwhile Alice is frantic in her attempts to prove herself innocent.

This book is like a giant jigsaw puzzle and the author brings the pieces together in a way that makes the reader want to turn the pages faster and faster to see where the next piece will fit.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, June 2011.

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Heaven’s Fire
Sandra Balzo
Kindle Edition, April 2011

Wendy “Jake” Jacobus, a TV producer for TV8 looked on in horror as she monitored the cameras at Lake Days Fireworks in Liberty, Wisconsin.  Firenze Fireworks is in charge of the display and the misfire that Jake just witnessed has taken the life of Pasquale Firenze, head of the company.  Not only is Pasquale killed but his son-in-law Ray Guido is washed off the barge by the wash of water created by the explosion. There is no sign of Ray’s body.

Simon Aamont is an investigator with ATF and an expert on fireworks.  Simon had previously investigated an accident involving the Firenze Fireworks company a few years ago.  Simon was also personally acquainted with the family.

Simon and Jake hit it off and Simon takes Jake to meet the Firenze family.  The family is a close-knit one and a group that openly show their love for each other but Simon feels something is amiss.  He can’t figure out if there is a problem from outside influences such as business rivals or from a problem within the family.

Jake is also disturbed after she finds out that one of the camera men at TV8 is making duplicate copies of tapes to be sold on the internet.

The author has certainly done her homework regarding the manufacture and use of fireworks.  The book also shows that the author has some inside knowledge of workings in a TV studio.

Simon is doing his utmost to get to the bottom of what happened to cause the misfiring of the fireworks.  Jake does everything to help him but soon the two of them are facing a dangerous situation that threatens their own lives.

If  you are a reader that enjoys a fast-paced story with lots of twists and turns this book is for you.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, June 2011.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Dark Dividing
Sarah Rayne
Felony & Mayhem Press, June 2011
ISBN No. 978-1-934609-80-4
Trade Paperback

A Dark Dividing is a novel that tells the story of two families, each with a set of twins.  Both sets of twins were born conjoined.  This is a rare but very sad occurrence.  In both instances, the mothers loved their children no matter what the problems the births presented but the fathers of the twins each had a different outlook on the birth of the twins and neither father really loved the children.

Harry Fitzgerald is a journalist that is assigned the task of reporting on a new art gallery.  Harry is less than thrilled with the assignment until he meets Simone Anderson who is going by the name Simone Marriot, a photographer.   Simone shows Harry some of her photographs that display a haunting quality much like Simone herself.  Simone is said to have had a twin sister that is now deceased.  Simone and her twin Sonia were born conjoined but no information has been published about the twins for years.

As Harry begins to research Simone’s background he finds a book that has been out of print for years that tells the tale of another set of conjoined twins named Viola and Sorrel Quinton and their mother Charlotte.  The twins were born years ago and their story is a sad one.   Mortmain House plays a big part in the story of Viola and Sorrel.  Mortmain House is dark, dreary and downright scary but the author keeps taking you back to this place of horrors.

Simone has had dreams of Mortmain House for years and finally moves near Mortmain where she has a terrifying experience that will haunt her for years.

The story of the two sets of twins is fascinating as well as horrifying.  Harry’s research into the lives of the two sets of twins uncovers long buried secrets.  A Dark Dividing is the type of book that will haunt you long after you have read the last page.

This is Sarah Rayne’s first novel to be published in the United States and it is a very, very good book.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, June 2011.

Book Reviews: Long Gone by Alafair Burke, Heaven's Fire by Sandra Balzo, and A Dark Dividing by Sarah Rayne


Long Gone

Alafair Burke
Harper, June 2011
ISBN No. 978-0061999185
Hardcover

Alice Humphrey’s chance meeting with Drew Campbell at first glance appears to be a lucky break. Alice is unemployed and Drew Campbell offers her a chance to run a gallery and be her own boss.  Alice’s father is a famous Hollywood producer and Alice had starred in some roles as a child star.     Alice harbors some bad feelings towards her father and this opportunity to do something exciting on her own without any help from her family is just too good to pass up.

Alice took Drew up on his offer and opened the Highline Gallery.  Drew’s story was that his client was willing to finance the gallery with the provision that Hans Schuler, an artist his client had an interest in, would have a private showing at the gallery.  Schuler’s art was anything but normal but Alice felt that she would be able to pick the art shown at the gallery once she got Schuler’s show out of the way.  Schuler’s art did sell but it was more from on line orders that walk in customers.  The artist had a gimmick of sending a jump drive of his art with each purchase.  Alice’s friend Lily at first thought Drew Campbell was just blowing smoke and would never rent the space for the gallery but later encouraged Alice to accept the position.  Alice had just gotten the opening over with when suddenly the Highline Gallery is being picketed by a fanatic church organization.  The church declared that the art displayed in the gallery was actually child pornography.

Alice’s attempts to contact Drew Campbell or his investor were unsuccessful.  Drew finally called Alice to meet him early in the morning at the gallery.  Alice arrived at the gallery to find the door unlocked, the gallery empty and a dead body on the floor.

Alice is interviewed by the police and she feels that the police aren’t buying her story.  To make matters worse when the police search the gallery premises they find the fingerprint of a young girl who has been reported missing by her mother.

As well as Alice’s story, Long Gone covers one police officer’s diligent search for the missing girl whose fingerprint is found in the gallery.  An FBI agent discovers that he has a direct connection to the man who Alice knows as Drew Campbell.  He feels Drew Campbell was responsible for the death of his sister.  The police in charge of the murder investigation where Alice is a suspect feel they have found the guilty party and do not really want to investigate other options.  Meanwhile Alice is frantic in her attempts to prove herself innocent.

This book is like a giant jigsaw puzzle and the author brings the pieces together in a way that makes the reader want to turn the pages faster and faster to see where the next piece will fit.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, June 2011.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Heaven’s Fire
Sandra Balzo
Kindle Edition, April 2011

Wendy “Jake” Jacobus, a TV producer for TV8 looked on in horror as she monitored the cameras at Lake Days Fireworks in Liberty, Wisconsin.  Firenze Fireworks is in charge of the display and the misfire that Jake just witnessed has taken the life of Pasquale Firenze, head of the company.  Not only is Pasquale killed but his son-in-law Ray Guido is washed off the barge by the wash of water created by the explosion. There is no sign of Ray’s body.

Simon Aamont is an investigator with ATF and an expert on fireworks.  Simon had previously investigated an accident involving the Firenze Fireworks company a few years ago.  Simon was also personally acquainted with the family.

Simon and Jake hit it off and Simon takes Jake to meet the Firenze family.  The family is a close-knit one and a group that openly show their love for each other but Simon feels something is amiss.  He can’t figure out if there is a problem from outside influences such as business rivals or from a problem within the family.

Jake is also disturbed after she finds out that one of the camera men at TV8 is making duplicate copies of tapes to be sold on the internet.

The author has certainly done her homework regarding the manufacture and use of fireworks.  The book also shows that the author has some inside knowledge of workings in a TV studio.

Simon is doing his utmost to get to the bottom of what happened to cause the misfiring of the fireworks.  Jake does everything to help him but soon the two of them are facing a dangerous situation that threatens their own lives.

If  you are a reader that enjoys a fast-paced story with lots of twists and turns this book is for you.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, June 2011.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Dark Dividing
Sarah Rayne
Felony & Mayhem Press, June 2011
ISBN No. 978-1-934609-80-4
Trade Paperback

A Dark Dividing is a novel that tells the story of two families, each with a set of twins.  Both sets of twins were born conjoined.  This is a rare but very sad occurrence.  In both instances, the mothers loved their children no matter what the problems the births presented but the fathers of the twins each had a different outlook on the birth of the twins and neither father really loved the children.

Harry Fitzgerald is a journalist that is assigned the task of reporting on a new art gallery.  Harry is less than thrilled with the assignment until he meets Simone Anderson who is going by the name Simone Marriot, a photographer.   Simone shows Harry some of her photographs that display a haunting quality much like Simone herself.  Simone is said to have had a twin sister that is now deceased.  Simone and her twin Sonia were born conjoined but no information has been published about the twins for years.

As Harry begins to research Simone’s background he finds a book that has been out of print for years that tells the tale of another set of conjoined twins named Viola and Sorrel Quinton and their mother Charlotte.  The twins were born years ago and their story is a sad one.   Mortmain House plays a big part in the story of Viola and Sorrel.  Mortmain House is dark, dreary and downright scary but the author keeps taking you back to this place of horrors.

Simone has had dreams of Mortmain House for years and finally moves near Mortmain where she has a terrifying experience that will haunt her for years.

The story of the two sets of twins is fascinating as well as horrifying.  Harry’s research into the lives of the two sets of twins uncovers long buried secrets.  A Dark Dividing is the type of book that will haunt you long after you have read the last page.

This is Sarah Rayne’s first novel to be published in the United States and it is a very, very good book.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, June 2011.