Romantic Suspense Review
How fitting that Katherine Sutcliffe would choose a line
from John Keat’s “Ode to a Nightingale” to characterize the dark
side of love that obsessive with madness would cause a crazed fan to see
death as eternal devotion. Darkling
I Listen is both romantic suspense and psychological thriller.
After his release from prison, Hollywood bad boy Brandon
Carlyle returns to his boyhood home in East Texas. Ticky Creek encompasses all small town values from sheltering
natives from outside intruders, celebrating festivals and traditions, to
protecting the local eccentrics. There
is also a southern gothic side to Ticky Creek where families may hide a
disturbing home life.
Brandon is home to care for his aunt and uncle as well as
heal from a personal battle with his own demons. Yet, his own demons have followed him to East Texas – and
one wants to kill anyone that stands in their way to becoming one with
Brandon. The question is who
is behind the fan letters signed by “Anticipating” and how did they
know his every move.
Sassy Alyson James is a simple East Texas native who wants
to write his official biography, after one with quotes from his
coldhearted mother hits the bestsellers.
She’s there for a story and using the book as an method to get
into the door, but as Brandon opens his dark secrets to her, Alyson falls
in love and wishes only to protect him.
Unfortunately, Alyson AKA A. J. Farrington was the tabloid reporter
who broke the story on his alcoholism.
There is a wide cast of eccentric characters that will keep
the reader on their toes trying to guess who is behind the acts of
vandalism, assaults, and murder. The
sheriff’s crazy sister who dresses like Marilyn Monroe tops the list.
Brandon’s tactless agent Mildred is a candidate.
Then there is fundamentalist nurse Betty with tattooed eye and lip
liner and the strength of a bodybuilder.
Of course, there is his mother, the sheriff, and the carnies.
Sutcliffe has created a book filled with heart.
There is the tender love of an aging couple who have never been
apart. There is the
vulnerable intimacy between Brandon and Alyson. And there is the small town compassion and loyalty that
protects the locals.
Darkling I Listen is an intense psychological
thriller as it explores child molestation, parental neglect, and substance
abuse. It is also a sizzling
erotic romp as Hollywood’s bad boy takes Alyson through a variety of
fantasy escapades that will make the most well read of you break a sweat.
© 2001 Southern Scribe Reviews