By Jodi Taylor
Published by Accent Press 2017
Having read and loved all of Jodi Taylor's other books, I was keen to see what she would produce with the start of this very different supernatural type thriller series starring Elizabeth Cage. This is a huge sea-change from her Frogmorton Farm contemporary fiction and her Chronicles of St Mary's series about
time travel investigating historical events in contemporary time.
As a child, Elizabeth rapidly learns that she can do things other people cannot, and that even when she does what she thinks is right and for the best, other people see her abilities very differently and see her as a threat to their wellbeing. Her ability to "read" people becomes something she suppresses, and she makes a determined effort to lead a dull, blameless ordinary life, never attracting attention to herself.
It almost works. Almost. A "chance" encounter with a flasher in a park leads her to meet and fall in love with Ted Cage, and after a quick courtship, they marry, leaving her to lead a normal suburban housewife life until Ted takes a new job at the Sorensen Clinic. It isn't long before she is invited to accompany Ted to a function at the Clinic and she meets his boss, the unsettling and rather creepy Dr Sorensen, and one of Ted's colleagues, Michael Jones, who has an intriguing aura and nurses a mystery of his own.
Ted's sudden death and her enforced stay at the Clinic lead her to team up with Michael Jones and together they face a entity involved in the death of one of the other patients, travel back into the past, though we never quite find out how that was accomplished, and then escape the Clinic to hide in a remote castle which turns out to have secrets and dangers of its own and places both of their lives in danger...... and that's just for starters.
This is jam-packed with action, adventure, adrenaline, tears and fears and beautifully written scenes; I was absolutely hooked and read it compulsively as fast as I was able. The story ends abruptly with Elizabeth fleeing for her life, not knowing who she can trust or which version of recent events is actually real; this quite literally stopped me dead in my tracks, simultaneously outraged at the cliffhanger and desperate to discover what happens next to both Cage and Jones. Subsequent more careful re-reading did reveal additional clues about what may have happened but I would not dare to regard them as cast in tablets of stone as Jodi is perfectly capable of leading us up the garden path and then springing the unexpected on us, as she has done a few times in the Chronicles of St Mary's.
Really looking forward to the next installment :-)