Friday, September 21, 2012

"mortal fire" by c.f. dunn

About the book: Twenty-nine-year-old, independent, and self-assured Cambridge history professor Emma D'Eresby has one obsession in life: the curious journal of a seventeenth-century Englishman, a portion of which was left to her by her late grandfather.

When an unexpected opportunity to study the journal in its entirety presents itself, Emma finds herself leaving Cambridge to take up a year-long position at a prestigious university in Maine. Anticipating a quiet year of research, Emma quickly discovers her work impeded by a range of unforeseen complications. From the start, there is the well-intentioned matchmaking of her vivacious Russian colleague, Elena Smalova, and the unexpected jailing of one of her post-graduate students. More troublesome, however, are the unsolved, brutal night attacks on women near the university and Emma's suspicion that they might be linked to the sinister English professor, Kort Staahl. But, most diverting and disconcerting of all, is Emma's growing attraction to the strikingly handsome Dr. Matthew Lynes, whose kind but deliberately distant demeanor puzzles her.

Suspense and dread mount when Kort begins to take a persistent and unsettling interest in Emma. What are Kort's intentions, and what is he capable of? And the mystery surrounding Matthew only deepens when Emma discovers a link between him and the journal. What is Matthew trying to hide?

My take: Mortal Fire is one of those books that you can digest in sections. For the first half of the book, I read at a leisurely pace, enjoying the tale Dunn was weaving ... and then things changed. All of the sudden, the building sense of foreboding ramped up into spine-tingling suspense, and I realized Mortal Fire was about so much more than I'd thought.

I hesitate to say much more because I don't want to give anything away—this is a plot you should really discover for yourself. Full of mystery, romance, and a taste of the supernatural, Mortal Fire is a book to be savored.

I do wish more of the mystery surrounding Matthew and Staahl had been explained, but I guess that just means I'll have to read book two! 4 stars.

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About the author: C. F. Dunn runs a school in North Kent for children with developmental disabilities, dyslexia, autism, and other difficulties.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Kregel Publications.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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