The Darker Side of Love
by J. Shannell Evans
PageTurner Press and Media

"Virginia, Dr. Grimes wants an autopsy done on your mom. He says her cause of death is inconclusive and they need to find out what happened."

After winning an important legal case, Virginia takes a day off from work to help with her mother's beloved garden. When she arrives at her parents' house, her mother is violently ill. Virginia takes her to the hospital, but the doctors cannot figure out what is wrong, and Virginia's mother dies suddenly. Virginia calls in her siblings, Brenda and Luke, so that the family can mourn together, but their father does not seem interested in spending time with them. When their mother's doctor calls for an autopsy, their father fights against it. The ensuing struggle tears the family apart and opens up many suspicions on all sides.

Brenda feels for her grieving father, but Virginia cannot figure out why he would start behaving so out of character. Luke's long estrangement from their father makes him suspect the worst. As the siblings work separately, together, and with law enforcement to piece together their mother's last days, they begin to uncover shocking secrets about their family.

This thriller brilliantly balances building continuous action and tension in the plot with an examination of the inner lives of its well-rounded, three-dimensional characters. Virginia's love of family and her devotion to her faith help soften her meticulous pursuit of evidence as she tries to solve her mother's death. Meanwhile, Luke comes off as rash and brusque in the novel's beginning, but he proves loyal and resourceful as the plot unfolds. With every new revelation, the mystery of Virginia's mother's death and her father's strange actions becomes more intriguing. The author writes both thriller and family drama engagingly and believably, and this combination of the two genres is seamless and superb.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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