4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Dark and Deadly,
By A Customer
This review is from: Light In Shadow: Number 1 in series (Whispering Springs) (Paperback)
Usually, in a JAK story, the family pulls together, and accepts the outsider into its midst. Here, the family is the enemy. Our heroine, Zoe, doesn't really exist. She's on the run, and has adopted the identity of "Zoe Luce" and gone into hiding at Whispering Springs. Here, she works as an interior decorator and keeps her head down.
Zoe has a form of second sight - she can detect in the walls of a room all the emotions of people who have been there. We see this in a very dramatic start to the book when she enters a room she's decorating for a client and feels the walls screaming at her. The client, she is sure, has murdered his wife. She hires Ethan Truax, a private investigator, to prove this. She manages to convince Ethan that a murder has taken place, without revealing the secret of her psychic gift and together they bring a murderer to justice. But the publicity has undesirable consequences for Zoe.
Her psychic gift is the reason that Zoe is on the run. Her husband was killed, apparently by a random burglar, and control of his shares in the family firm passed to her. She is convinced her husband was murdered by someone close to him, because when she visited the cabin where he died, the walls had screamed at her. To prevent this outsider affecting the future of the company, the family labelled Zoe's vocal accusations and psychic experiences as "insanity". The family quietly locked away in a private mental institution and threw away the key.
As if that wasn't bad enough, this institution was badly managed. The doctors conducted illicit experiments on the patients and one of them not only believed Zoe's experiences might be real but even tried to use her as a "psychic investigator" as part of her "research". Worse, the employees assault and even rape the patients. Zoe had some dreadful experiences at Candlelake Manor before she escaped. Now she lives in hiding, afraid of anyone discovering her psychic gift and afraid of people finding she has been placed in a mental institution. She also has reason to fear that there's a killer in her late husband's family.
Unfortunately for Zoe, just when she thinks she might be settling down and even starting a relationship with Ethan, the publicity about the murder in Whisperring Springs starts a ball rolling that eventually blows her cover. Ethan saves Zoe by marrying her and removing her from the control of her late husband's family, but as their investigations into the murder of Zoe's first husband start to show results, can he save her from the killer?
This is the darkest book JAK has ever written. The hero and heroine start a relationship, depend on one another, and finally fall in love, so that makes it a romance. But the world the hero and heroine inhabit is a dark and threatening place. If you like your romantic suspence dark and deadly, you'll enjoy this book.
Personally, I missed the light heartedness and fun of JAK's earlier books and hope that her future books return there.