Title/Author: She Walks in Darkness by Evangeline Walton.
Publisher: Tachyon Publications.
Synopsis: A gorgeous Tuscan villa harboring a terrible secret houses this original harrowing adventure of ancient mystery and modern intrigue.
Archaelogist Richard Keyes and his resourceful young bride, Barbara, are expecting a blissful honeymoon in a welcoming new country. But from the moment they arrive in their secluded new home, circumstances conspire against them. A car crash leaves Richard lying unconscious in a bed surrounded by frescoes of a benevolent goddess, while a far more sinister deity in the courtyard seems to gain power in the night.
Meanwhile, in Barbara's hour of need, a beautiful, young Tuscan appears, and she is drawn to his seductive charms. A conflict has been reawakened after generations of sacrifice, betrayal, and madness, and the key to the mystery lies in the catacombs under the villa. ~Goodreads.com.
Midnyte Musings: She Walks in Darkness is a newly discovered manuscript and an automatic purchase for me since I love all of Walton's books. I'm not sure this is a book I would normally pick up from the synopsis and I have to admit I wasn't as enamored of it as I had hoped to be. However, it's a good little mystery and I did like Barbara, the main female protagonist. She is smart and brave in the face of danger and does all she can to keep her husband safe.
What I also liked about her is her honesty with herself. She admits to being attracted to another man other than her husband (and on her honeymoon no less) in a precarious situation and she doesn't know if she can even trust this stranger. She uses her wits and what she has learned form her archaeologist husband to observe all she can in the villa that is on the site of an ancient temple and has a history that is almost palpable, making the location a character in itself.
At times this book reminded me of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting and Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, not so much in the plot but in the style of the writing. It is interesting to me because they were all female writers from the early to mid century.
Starstruck Over: I'm happy that I was able to read another work by a favorite author.