Search the Shadows, by Barbara Michaels

>> Monday, June 09, 2003

I can't believe I haven't posted in so many days. I've read a bunch of books since that last post, so I'll try to be brief (yeah, right!). First of all, Search the Shadows, by Barbara Michaels

When twenty-two-year-old Haskell Malone accidentally discovers damning proof that the dead was hero whose name she bears is not her father, she is shattered. The revelation only confirms the dark fear that has haunted her since childhood. In fact, what little she knows about her birth and her mother's subsequent death, is a fragile web of evasions and lies.

Determined to expose the truth at any cost, Haskell takes a job at Chicago's famed Oriental Institute in the city where her mother once lived and loved. But as she searched the shadows of the past, she finds that the truth can sometimes be deadly.

A good one, a B+ for me. As I posted a little while ago, I tend to group Michaels' books into several categories. This particular one would be straight suspense, with nary a sign of the supernatural. I like the creepy ghost stories best of all, but this is still Barbara Michaels after all, so it was still an excellent read.

As in every one of the author's books, the atmosphere was incredible. The huge, creepy mansion, the strange characters, the young heroine... very gothic. I also found the mystery very engaging. The best part was the heroine. The book was written in 1st person POV, which only succeeds if the narrator is interesting. Haskell was.

I just love Michaels' voice, whether she's writing under that name or as Elizabeth Peters. Her sense of humour shines through, and it's a kind of humour I find beautifully effective. It's never forced, it just springs naturally from the situations described.

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