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Posted September 7, 2010
Orignally posted at: www.longandshortreviews.blogspot.com ***** Dark Secrets of the Heart has all the thrills anyone could ask for, and a better-than-usual romance.
Dark Secrets of the Heart has an immediate dramatic impact, partly because it starts with the hair-raising awareness of something unidentifiable, out there in the night. The impact is heightened as the story is presented in the first person. What could be worse than some unexplained shadow in the darkness? Anna hopes of course that its just the rock-star of a best friend Chris, coming over at this ridiculous hour...but then again, what if it isn't?
The start promises more thrills to come; although we have to wait a while. The story bogs down at this point, with too many explanations of the past. Dialogue is very believable, as is Anna and Chris' slightly peculiar relationship. Their relationship is not easily predictable, and its founded on this wonderful, long-standing friendship. Chris' concerns and Anna's support of him is wonderful - and quite a step from the usual run of 'romance' romances. If home is where the heart is, there is a lot of heart in their relationship.
As diverting as that relationship is - we are all too aware that they are both failing to pay attention to something out there in the dark! We readers are more anxious, suddenly, than the characters. We know something is going to happen - and we have that classic 'thriller' urge to shout out some warning to Anna. There are some fabulously creepy moments - although they don't build in any logical way. Real thriller fans will be gnashing their teeth for 'something' to happen, during some of the intervals of pool-playing and other diversions! Sooner or later, the shadow will strike!
Descriptions are well-done and heighten the mood. I especially liked how some of the descriptions revealed some inner-angst (like Chris, staring up at the moon and imagining a face looking down at him.) Spooky incidents keep Dark Secrets of the Heart interesting; a worthwhile read.