Archive for July 9th, 2010

Shadows over Paradise
By: Anne K. Edwards
Twilight Times Books
Copyright 2010
ISBN-13: 9781606191354

Author’s website: www.MysteryFiction.net
Purchase from Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?isbn=1606191357

After receiving an unexpected wedding invitation from an old college girlfriend, aspiring novelist Julia Graye flies to the exotic Mantuan Islands to attend the celebration. Not having seen nor heard from her friend Samantha for the last six years, Julia finds the request somewhat odd. Yet she’s soon captivated by the idea of visiting this part of the world which she’s heard so much about. Maybe the place will even inspire her and give her an idea for a novel.

However, as soon as she steps foot in Orinda, the capital, an atmosphere of mystery and dread begins to darken her enthusiasm. On the boat ride to Tiboo, the little volcanic island where Samantha actually lives and where Julia will be staying for the next few days, the Captain warns her about bad times and political restlessness and advises her to turn back. Turn back, after such a long trip? She’s just got here. She’ll only be here a few days to attend a friend’s wedding. What possible harm could come to her?

That night she finally meets Samantha again, as well as Samantha’s petulant brother and cold mother. An air of intrigue, lies and secrets seem to veil this old family. Then the next day, to Julia’s utter shock, she discovers a dead body on the beach, a body which turns out to be none other than Samantha’s groom-to-be Ramon. The police declare it a murder. Family members and relatives become suspects; everybody appears to be hiding something. Moreover, Julia can’t shake off the feeling that she’s been followed, that someone’s been tracking her movements. But who and why?

After several suspicious incidents it becomes clear someone wants Julia dead, but what possible threat could a harmless aspiring novelist pose to anyone? As she’s caught in the vortex and forced to fight for her life, her actions will have an impact on the political future of the entire island.

This book impelled me to read late into the night. I simply couldn’t put it down. Anne K. Edwards has created a twister of deception and mystery that kept me guessing for the culprits. The climax gripped me and left me breathless all the way to the fully satisfying ending. The exotic setting, polished narration, tight plot and strong atmosphere of menace make this story a must read for lovers of the genre. Being a fan of this very talented author, I impatiently look forward to reading more of her works.

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