Tuesday, December 17, 2013

THROUGH THE EVIL DAYS - Julia Spencer-Fleming

My review of Through the Evil Days first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers. It is appearing here today with their permission.

First line: "The dog's barking woke Mikayla up."

Russ van Alstyne and Clare Fergusson return in Julia Spencer-Fleming’s eighth installment of her series set in the fictional town of Millers Kill, New York.

Newly married, with an unplanned baby on the way, van Alstyne and Fergusson are headed out to a secluded cabin for a belated honeymoon. The setting is sufficient foreshadowing to know mayhem will ensue, but Spencer-Fleming adds a horrific ice storm to the mix, knocking out most all lines of communication.

Meanwhile, the Millers Kill Police Department, sans its chief, is trying to locate a young, liver transplant recipient kidnapped and in need of regular medications. In Millers Kill situations are rarely run of the mill so stakes are high, suspense is intense and momentum swift.

Series devotees are less likely to be returning to Millers Kill for the suspense and momentum, however. As the characters have evolved, they’ve developed intricate, rich relationships, making their day-to-day interactions as riveting as a kidnapping in the midst of an ice storm. The two main protagonists may be the marquee names, but Spencer-Fleming has created an entire town readers return for. Those starting with Through the Evil Days will be able to grasp the plot but are likely to miss the significance of these complex relationships.

Series devotees will also be familiar with Spencer-Fleming’s penchant for cliff-hanger endings that keep the suspense high to the final sentence.

Through the Evil Days lives up to the standard of this beloved series and is a welcome, albeit dangerous, trip back to Millers Kill.

Enjoy an audio excerpt from the unabridged Macmillan Audio version:

Through the Evil Days is available in hardcover (ISBN: 978-0312606848) from Minotaur. An unabridged audiobook version (ISBN: 978-1427231048), narrated by Suzanne Toren is available from Macmillan Audio.


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