Reviewed By: Woodstock - RAM
A Darker Place
Amazon US PB Amazon Canada PB
Laurie R. King
Class/Genre: Mystery Woman Main Character Religious Fiction
Series: Anne Waverly
Anne Waverly is a profession of religious studies at a small Oregon university. Her work regarding the nature of cults and the response to cults by law enforcement is highly respected by the FBI and other federal and state agencies.
But her expertise has not come solely from academic study. A wrenching personal tragedy and years of tentative recovery have resulted in valuable insight. So valuable in fact, that the FBI has recruited her to work as an undercover operative. Her latest assignment is to join a mysterious group based in Arizona, with branches in Japan and England. Anne devotes several weeks to studying the advance intelligence on the group, and to memorizing the alternate identity established for her by the FBI, then climbs into a battered Volkswagon camper and drives to Arizona.
As she introduces herslef to the group members, Anna encounters a young child with a startling physical resemblance to Anne's daughter - who died many years ago. The presence of this child and her teenage brother draws Anne very quickly into the life of the group she has come to investigate.
At first, the group seems inocuous - working with the special requirements of desert agriculture and running a widely respected school for troubled adolescents. But bothersome news begins to seep out - a death in Japan, mysterious "work" projects, meaningless restrictions of various personal preferences. And abruptly Anne together with the two children are sent to England, leaving Anne out of communication with her FBI handlers. And in a great deal of danger.
The startling nature of the mad insanity of the leader at the English location made my skin crawl. Anne uses all her physical and mental abilities in the hair raising showdown.
Laurie R. King is a new author to me. She writes two continuing series - the "Mary Russell" books in which she expands what we know of the fictional Sherlock Holmes, and the "Kate Martinelli" series set in San Francisco. This stand alone is an excellent introduction to her suspense fiction skills, and I will definitely read more by her in the future.
Woodstock - RAM
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