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A Dark and Lonely Place Paperback – November 20, 2012
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"Ambitious, inventive saga...nonstop action and romance." -Kirkus Reviews
"Edna Buchanan's "A Dark and Lonely Place" is an action-packed South Florida love story that blends fact and fiction, past and present, and ultimately transcends time."
--Sherryl Woods, bestselling author of "An O'Brien Family Christmas"
About the Author
Edna Buchanan worked The Miami Herald police beat for eighteen years, during which she won scores of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the George Polk Award for Career Achievement in Journalism. Edna attracted international acclaim for her classic true-crime memoirs, The Corpse Has a Familiar Face and Never Let Them See You Cry. Her first novel of suspense, Nobody Lives Forever, was nominated for an Edgar Award.
Top customer reviews
As much as I've liked and admired her entire body of work, A DARK AND LONELY PLACE is a disappointing read.
There are two parts to the storyline, which Buchanan flips back and forth between. One is the early 1900's undying romance between John Ashley and Laura Upthegrove. It reads like Florida history text meets the wild, wild west.
Although it is part of Florida's true life outlaw history, I'm not a history buff. Nor do I like westerns. Therefore, I skipped significant portions of this part of the storyline because there were so many sidetrips taken.
The second part of the narrative is about two imaginary characters who are Ashley's and Upthegrove's ancestors living in the 21st century, also named John and Laura. They meet during a murder investigation and within seconds fall madly in love.
The overall premise of the story is whether or not history repeats itself with the exact outcome. Or can the result be changed?
This current day storyline is more of the fast-paced suspense Edna Buchanan fans are accustomed to reading. However, because it only shares half the book space (probably less, as so much narrative is given to the 1900's storyline), things happen way too quickly. It seems ridiculous and artificial.
In addition, the characters are one dimensional. They are presented as being heroic and having absolute integrity.
Yet Upthegrove leaves her two children with their father in order to be with Ashley. Ashley, in turn, kicks the husband to the curb (after being an invited guest in their home at the husband's behest), as if he's entitled to another man's wife. Then they participate in illegal activities, using the justification they're doing so in order to support themselves.
Ditto the future generation of lovebirds. Within five seconds of meeting, John and Laura decide they're in love. That very same day, John unceremoniously ends his engagement to a female police officer in a disrespectful, humiliating, and public way. Once again the attitude is, "Oh, well, we're in love. So we're entitled. After all, we're the only ones that matter."
These characters act like shallow, narcissistic, self-indulgent children instead of intriguing lovers.