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Gallows Ascending (Stone Quest Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Armand/Downing is still out there. Stay tuned!
Gallows Ascending continues the story of psychic tracker Luke Stone who has settled in the small seaside village New Camen after he lost his wife to Consuelo to cancer and is using his psychic powers to find missing children.
Dr. Beth Rutledge, a paediatrician, is suspected of killing her child who was suffering from leukaemia, and loses her hospital privileges until the case is settled. Chance leads her to the same village and into Luke's life.
The thrilling prequel of this novel shows a young woman Ruth Blay being publicly hanged to death over 250 years ago, and this is a recurring nightmare for Dr. Beth. Then Dr. Beth's husband is murdered, and she is found next to him, so she is obviously the prime suspect… Lots of unexpected twists and turns and a jolly good read.
BUT, there are several spelling errors, missing quotes, over-long sentences, opening quotes instead of apostrophes. AND a little more background of Desert Chimera would give more depth to the tale.
Dr. Bethany Rutledge accused of murdering her daughter, stripped of her medical license and fleeing an abusive marriage has also taken up residence in the village with her friend Cordelia Lysek. Haunted by a vision of the unjust hanging of Ruth Blay she begins to unravel clues to a curse that has lingered since 1768. When Beth is found lying on the beach near the body of her dead ex-husband politician Adrian Mountzaire, she's arrested and accused of the murder. With romance already brewing between Beth and Luke he agrees to investigate the mysterious murder that seems to be linked not only to the past but to a missing boy.
Skilfully Leigh Podgorski sets the stage with a beleaguered doctor haunted by the death of her daughter and an ex-husband determined to have her committed. In the same town Luke Stone devastated by the death of his wife would consider giving up his tenuous hold on life if he wasn't involved in finding lost and broken children. These two shattered lives find solace in each other's arms while trying to find a killer. The plot is action-packed and mesmerizing as events unfold. With vivid description the author contrasts an image of the tempestuous sea near Camden with the storm in the lives of Beth and Luke. In a storyline that blends visions of death, a ghostly ride, a myth from the past and paranormal powers the reader is held spellbound from the first page to the last. Even the ending holds the promise of a riveting third book. However, the structure of the plot holds few surprises as there are very few twists and turns.
The personalities in this story seem driven by their brokenness or flaws and faults in their makeup. Dr. Bethany Rutledge a medical doctor is dedicated, confident and caring. She's haunted by her daughter's death and cruelly pursued by her smooth-talking, controlling ex-husband Adrian Mountzaire who wants her locked away to save his declining political career. Luke Stone, a tracker uses his paranormal skills to look for lost and abducted children. A kind-hearted and decent man he finds a reawakening of the heart he thought frozen after the death of his wife. The Shirley sisters- Druscylla and Amalthea- are refined, polite but very reclusive. Druscylla haunted by an old injury is malformed and fearful while Amalthea is overly protective of her sister and very compassionate. I would have liked more complexity in the personalities of the characters which would have heightened the tension, drama and power of the story.
However I enjoyed "Gallows Ascending" and rate it a 3.5. I intend to read all the books in this series.
GALLOWS ASCENDING takes place in the sleepy sea side village of New Camen, NH thirteen years after Stone's epic battle with nemesis Armand Jacobi in Death Valley. His wife, Consuelo has died and Luke is in exile again. But not for long.
Beautiful but troubled Dr. Beth Rutledge drops into Luke's life, bringing with her the charge of the murder of her daughter, a charge that haunts her dreams, and that reaches back 250 years to the public death by hanging of a true historic figure, the young woman Ruth Blay.
Soon, a young boy goes missing, and right after that, Beth's husband ends up dead--with Beth lying right beside him in the sand on the beach.
Now, Luke must not only find the lost boy, but also hunt down the real killer of Adrian Mountzaire before his new love is not only accused of the crime--but convicted.
As in DESERT CHIMERA, Podgorski provides unexpected twists and turns in a fast-paced read that takes the reader deep inside Luke Stone's world - a mystic universe of visions and second sight and magical healings, but one also where danger always lurks. This is an adventure worth embarking upon.
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