THIS MONTH'S BOOK REVIEWS...THIS MONTH'S BOOK REVIEWS
James Gault reviews Dark Deceit – by Cathie Dunn
Does anyone remember the racy Angelique and Catherine historical romance novels which were so loved in the 70s and 80s? Nowadays, they have sadly lost favour to sexy fantasy tales of violence and intrigue in imaginary kingdoms. But Cathie Dunn takes up the baton from the Golons and Juliette Benzoni with this perfect example of the genre.
Set in twelfth century England and Normandy during the civil war between Matilda and Stephen, ‘Dark Deceit’ has all the essential elements: historical accuracy, political intrigue, the atmosphere of the times, a virtuous lady under threat from ruthless villains, a noble knight to protect her and defend her honour. The blood flows as it did in those violent times; the heroine Alleyne resists unwanted, or sometimes secretly desired, attentions in steamy encounters; true love is rejected and then found again. In a fast-moving plot we are swept through the South of England and on into the Norman forests, breathlessly trying to keep up with every twist and turn in the intrigue. The writing is tight and economic and keeps us turning the pages. The doubts, fears, prejudices and misconceptions of the characters bring them vividly to life.
There is one problem with this novel: it ends too soon. Though the couple eventually find each other, there is some unfinished business waiting to be resolved. Everything is set up for the sequel, but where is it? Come on Cathie, don’t keep us in suspense. Get the quill out and start scratching!
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