The cover is kind of dark, so I'm not fond of it, but it does show that there is some darkness to this suspenseful novel. However, a light shining through the grape leaves would have depicted the heart of the story more, because the light from discovering the truth casts away the darkness and provides healing. While this story had its terrifying moments, it left me feeling good at the end because of the resolution and healing message that was (thank God) not sappy or forced. I loved that. Quite often suspense stories leave me scratching my head because the resolution was not believable, or the great "revelation" seemed staged. This story flowed naturally. The tension built and built until there was nothing left but the inevitable explosion. And what a bang it carried! I was truly impressed.
Given my background of working with sick-o people for several decades I had a feeling there was some stuff in the past that would come to light. I love when my instincts are spot-on, but that also tells me that the author knew how to frame a believable scenario. Not many authors do that so convincingly that my gut says, "yep, that's just what it would look like, too." The author did a great job with the whole mystery and suspense. She also tied in a great romance with Handel, who was not only a childhood friend, but a very heroic figure in this story. I wanted to cuddle up next him when I got scared along with the heroine. Well done!
The coolest part of this story is that while published by the author, the craft part of the storytelling was impressive. This could easily have been published by a big publishing house. It was that well done. Just so you know, it's worth way more than the $2.99 the author is charging for her Amazon kindle edition of her novel. I'd easily pay $9.99 for it because the quality of the writing and storytelling is so good. There is nothing too sick or crass for the average reader to enjoy and nothing to make a Christian's conscience cringe. There are a few minor cuss words and an occasional glass of wine, but she is living at a winery, so it fits the setting. The heroine's memories that are pretty realistic, but that just makes the story more powerful. I highly recommend this book.
(reviewed 46 days after purchase)