Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Crystal Magic #1
Publication Date: 3/27/18
The writing is excellent with well-developed characters, a tight, well-written story, a complex and interesting mystery and a lovely romance. The mystery will keep you guessing right up until the end – it is filled with plots and sub-plots and so many twists and turns.
Samantha (Sam) Moon arrives in the small mountain town of Hillvale, California without an actual memory of who she is, where she comes from – nothing – it is all a total blank. The only reason she has any idea of her name is that she found it written on something in her car – well – she thinks it is her car – after all, she was driving it. How did she get here – there is an address programmed on the GPS – did she program it? Why is she here? She’s been in a bit of a befuddled state, but her mind is finally clearing a bit – at least she can think – but she still has absolutely no idea who she is or why she is in this place.
Hillvale is a mysterious, very small town populated with what the locals call Lucys and Nulls. The Nulls are pretty much just what the name says – plain, ordinary, logical with no belief in anything that is magical or mystical. The Lucys seem – and many actually are – looney. They often talk in jibberish and never, ever get directly to the point and say what they actually mean. They have various talents – some assist restless spirits to the other side, some tell futures by reading tarot cards, some create spells and sculptures that protect people and spaces – well, you name it and there is someone with that talent. Many of the people are hold-overs from the old hippie commune days. Days that are better forgotten, but can’t be. They were days filled with drugs, betrayals, fraud, and evil.
Chen Ling Walker is more than he seems. He’s the county deputy assigned to patrol and police the Hillvale area – but – that isn’t all he is. He’s here on a mission – he intends to find out what happened to his father when he was in this area nearly 20 years ago. Walker is sure his father was murdered here, but his body has never been found. Walker fully intends to find out what happened, but the locals are tight-lipped and will not speak to anyone – especially an outsider. Walker is still trying to recover from the murder/suicide of his wife and son, so he has taken a sabbatical from his job as CEO of his own company. He had to get away – and this is the perfect thing for him to do.
The descriptions are so vivid that you can feel the evil surrounding you. Your heartbeat will speed up and you can only wonder who or what is causing all of that evil. More and more is revealed as Sam remembers who she is and how she got here. Then, she learns more about her family background and her ties to this place. She is in danger here – the evil is stalking her.
Can she and Walker save her from that evil? Can they solve the mystery behind the disappearance of Walker’s father? Can two people from such different worlds find love and happiness? Well – you’ll just have to read the story to find out!
Now, I will say that I’d have liked MORE at the ending – an epilogue – an additional chapter – something. Perhaps we’ll learn more in additional books in the series, but I’d have liked to see how/if Sam and Walker work things out in this book. Will they end up living in his town or hers? Will they be together at all?
The book is interesting and filled with lovely, quirky characters that you’ll quickly come to like. I think it might be fun to live in a town like Hillvale.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”