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Black Valley    by Charlotte Williams order for
Black Valley
by Charlotte Williams
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2015 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Black Valley by Charlotte Williams presents a story of twins with what I hope is not typical of twins' lives and their dependence on each other (I have a set of young identical twins in my family).

Psychologist Jessica Mayhew has separated from her husband (she threw him out after she caught him cheating on their marriage) and her two daughters have both reached an age where they can make their own decisions and thus do not need her guidance in their daily lives.

Jessica has a new client, painter Elinor Powell, and is beginning to feel close to her. She has also met a new man with whom she quickly becomes intimate. Life is looking up. Unfortunately, complications ensue. What she is told by this new beau does not add up. She begins to look at her life from a different angle.

A suspicious death occurs; the new client creates doubt in Jessica's mind as to the truth of her revelations during therapy sessions; and the new beau seems to have a different agenda than she has.

Black Valley is a beautifully written book. The author had the ability to describe scenes so vividly that you can almost feel gentle breezes on your face as you hear the wind rustling the leaves on the trees above your head. Her plot is subtle at first but then grabs you as you try to work out where she is taking the story.

Unfortunately, author Charlotte Williams left us in 2014 at the age of fifty-nine. A true loss.

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