Friday, February 27, 2009

Silent In The Santuary - Deanna Raybourn

Fresh from a six-month sojourn in Italy, Lady Julia returns home to Sussex to find her father's estate crowded with family and friends-- but dark deeds are afoot at the deconsecrated abbey, and a murderer roams the ancient cloisters.
Much to her surprise, the one man she had hoped to forget--the enigmatic and compelling Nicholas Brisbane--is among her father's houseguests… and he is not alone. Not to be outdone, Julia shows him that two can play at flirtation and promptly introduces him to her devoted, younger, titled Italian count. But the homecoming celebrations quickly take a ghastly turn when one of the guests is
found brutally murdered in the chapel, and a member of Lady Julia's own family
confesses to the crime. Certain of her cousin's innocence, Lady Julia resumes
her unlikely and deliciously intriguing partnership with Nicholas Brisbane,
setting out to unravel a tangle of deceit before the killer can strike again.
When a sudden snowstorm blankets the abbey like a shroud, it falls to Lady Julia
and Nicholas Brisbane to answer the shriek of murder most foul.

Since I already had this one in the TBR pile when I finished Silent in The Grave I decided to pick it up immediately after. I’m happy to report that I found this one much better.

Lady Julia Grey returns from Italy where spent some time with two of her brothers. Now one of the brothers has married without informing their father and having known that the father orders them all home. Besides a new sister in law Julia also takes home an Italian count that has been paying court to her. They arrive a few weeks before Christmas to find that Julia’s father has quite a few guests at home including Nicholas Brisbane, of whom Julia has heard nothing for the past months but that she has been unable to forget.Unfortunately Julia and Brisbane’s reunion isn’t a happy one, none of them is expecting to meet the other and Julia suddenly finds herself facing Brisbane’s fiancée, which is quite a surprise. Julia’s father seems to be behind this odd plan to reunite them but one is left thinking how devious is his mind to plot this when Brisbane is betrothed.

I was unable to determine whether Julia is consciously avoiding the truth or if she is just hopeful but it seems she immediately decides that the betrothal must be a scheme and decides to investigate what really is going on. Also in the house are Julia’s penniless cousins, Lucy and Emma, Lucy’s fiancée with his secretary and the Vicar and his Curate among others.

When one of the guests is found murdered and a family member is found to be the obvious suspect Julia and Brisbane decide to conduct a private investigation to discover what was behind the crime and who actually committed it. At the same time someone else disappears and Julia is still determined to find out about Brisbane’s betrothal at the same time that one of her brother’s shows a less than innocent interest in the fiancée.

It seemed to me that there were even more plot twists in this sequel than in the first book but this time they worked perfectly and I was kept interested and curious about what was going on. To tell the truth I couldn’t stop reading it to find out who had done what and when. There are a lot of characters mentioned but they all seemed to add something and contribute to the final climax. Unlike my reaction when I finished Silent in the Grave I now can’t wait to get my hands on Silent on The Moor.

Grade: 4.5/5

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