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Friday, June 24, 2011

Whispers in the Sand by Barbara Erskine



Whispers in the Sand by Barbara Erskine
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (468 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Aloe

Recently divorced, Anna Fox decides to cheer herself up by retracing a journey that her great-grandmother, Louisa, made in the mid-nineteenth century from Luxor to the Valley of Kings on a Nile cruise. Anna carries with her two of Louisa’s possessions: an ancient Egyptian scent bottle and an illustrated diary of the original cruise that has laid unread for more than a hundred years. Meanwhile, two men from the tour party begin to develop an unfriendly rivalry for her attention and a disturbing interest in Louisa’s mementos. As she follows in Louisa’s footsteps, Anna discovers a wonderful love story from the Victorian past, along with chilling secrets and terrifying specters that haunted her great-grandmother—and will soon begin to pursue her, too.

Anna Fox is recently divorced and free from her controlling husband, but she doesn’t know what to do with herself. Her aunt suggests she retrace a Nile cruise her great-grandmother had taken years before. She says yes, but doesn’t realize just what awaits her in Egypt…

Ms. Erskine writes a very solid novel. Every word she uses is there for a purpose and she weaves pictures of Egypt and its scenery, imbues you with a sense of danger, and makes you wonder if anyone is safe on this journey. Her plot is well thought out with lots of nooks and crannies for secrets to hide in. And she uses the diary from the past for good effect in this cruise in the contemporary time period. If you are at all familiar with Egyptian myths, they have gods they honor. Not all of them are nice gods, either. The gods are at work in this story also.

When Anna gets on the plane to go to Egypt, she meets her first odd character. He’s not the least bit friendly or even socialable sitting next to her. But he has interest in her great grandmother’s diary…

The author starts Anna out as a shy type after years of her husband controlling her and telling her what was appropriate for her life as his wife. As the cruise continues, she runs into other men of this type, but she starts to come out of her shell and lets them know she won’t be treated that way. By the end of the story, after fighting gods and attempting to keep her artifacts from being stolen, Anna is returning to a woman with full confidence that can make her own decisions. The transition is fun to read about.

All the characters in the “diary” and in the current day are believable and strong. The gods follow the traditional legends and are just as nasty as they were in those stories. It’s full bodied story with lots of twists and turns that holds your attention until the last page.

I especially enjoyed the Egyptian lore and the visit to the country. Why not get yourself a copy of this book and go on a Nile cruise, too?

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