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Gallows Ascending (Stone Quest Book 2) Kindle Edition
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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.
How did you feel about the opening / ending sequences of the book? I preferred the opening sequence more than the ending and although it is the second book in the series, the introduction provides a good background into the main characters and setting.
Who was your favourite character and why? I liked Dr. Beth Rutledge a little more than Luke. She's a very conflicted character that provides some colour to the story.
Was this book worth reading? For the most part, the book was a good read but some parts went in too much detailed that you got distracted from the main story.
Disclosure - I received a complimentary copy from the author which did not affect my honest opinion.