Merrimon Book Reviews

Photo Credit:
Walter J. Pilsak

One of the most enduring historical references to what some consider to be psychic ability is the prophecies of Michel de Nostredame (1503 – 1566), often Latinized to Nostradamus, published during the French Renaissance period.

From Merrimon Book Reviews
The Missing
The Missing By Shiloh Walker
by Shiloh Walker
The darkness of evil and the power of love
As an adolescent, Taige Branch's psychic powers always makes her feel separate from others.  As a teenager, her boyfriend Cullen Morgan was the one person who seems to understand her.  Together they share the intensity of a first love.  He alone stands by her side and cherishes her when the darkness overwhelms her.  Then, one day, Cullen's family experiences a tragedy, a tragedy Taige has not foreseen.  He blames her for not preventing the turn of events.  Although the two go their separate ways, each thinks of the other during the intervening years.  Year later and now widowed, Cullen finds himself relying on Taige when his daughter turns up missing.  Can Taige help locate his kidnapped daughter or will her psychic abilities fail again when she most needs them?  Now working together, Taige and Cullen find that the passion of their youth still burns just as hot as it ever was.  Can Taige and Cullen work through the past wounds to find a love that that also understands one another more deeply?  Can they save his daughter in time?

Shiloh Walker's THE MISSING is a work of romantic suspense that explores the darkness of evil and the power of love to heal.  Precise, well-chosen vignettes from different periods of time in the first part of this romance set up the conflict while pinpointing the focus of the emotional dimension and the passion that unites Paige and Cullen.  From the very beginning, Shiloh Walker allows readers to see inside her characters' souls.  One feels the darkness within as Taige's unique gift which separates her from her family and others, others who seek to stamp out the one thing that makes her stand out as special.  Against this background, the innocence and passion of a first love breaks through with a freshness and energy.  As the romance progresses, bringing Taige and Cullen into the present day, Shiloh Walker paints an amazing portrait of two individuals who, having now experienced the brokenness and pain of the world before them, now discover a deeper love, a love able to withstand not only time but a love that recognizes a fuller vision of the whole person.

THE MISSING is not a typical work of romantic suspense in which the hunt to identity of the villain provides the suspense.  Most readers will guess the motive and the culprit before the final pages, although Shiloh Walker also gives readers a surprising twist at the end that adds a whole other chilling dimension to this romance.   The power of this romance and the suspense resides in the chilling portrait she paints of the villain and how evil often cloaks itself in goodness while destroying beauty and uniqueness.  Unlike some other works of suspense, Shiloh Walker does not use Taige's psychic powers as a way to simplify the hunt for villain but rather looks into the complications and difficulties that these powers present to Taige, adding depth to her character and bringing the reader deeper inside the story.  Shiloh Walker's excellent use of imagery crystallizes the very chilling portrait of the villain.  Indeed, the very heart of THE MISSING resides in Shiloh Walker's ability to take the reader into the twistedness of her villains, unmasking the devious, destructive dynamics within the mind and to juxtapose that darkness against the heart of her hero and heroine.  Throughout the romance, Shiloh Walker has a unique skill in choosing which scenes to include to maximize the impact of her story.  The ending of the romance takes this one step further, creating an image of Taige and of love itself that inspires the imagination. 

Publisher: Berkley Sensation (November 2008)
Author web site

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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