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Seventh Fire: An Emily Taylor Mystery Paperback – July 17, 2012
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From the Author
Anyone who has followed the trials of Steven Truscott, David Milgaard, or other wrongful convictions in North America, will be interested in what happened to Langford Taylor in 1980. And fans of Emily Taylor will be thrilled to at last discover their dark secret, a theme which has been threaded throughout the other three novels. Readers will be amazed at how far Emily will go to release her husband from a maniac.
From the Inside Flap
Emily Taylor's husband, Langford, has a troubled past that has come back to haunt them, but it's time to clear his name. Along with their lawyer and a skilled private detective, they travel back to Vancouver, BC, the site of tragedy and heartbreak.
When a twisted serial killer, who calls himself The Artist, discovers that Langford and his wife have returned, he is determined to complete a gruesome ritual of evil. He knows how to lure his victims into his trap.
But the Artist has a formidable opponent--the powerful, sustaining love between two people who have survived his malice before and plan to do it again.
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But now their lives are changing with the addition of two children they want to adopt. To move forward and bring this dream to fruition, they must go back and revisit the ugly past. The story moves back and forth with them between the present and the 1980s. We find out what happened back in 1980 when Emily and Langford's lives changed in ways they never would have foretold or chosen. And, in the present, as their investigators unearth new evidence, we learn the truth about the grisly killing.
Faithful readers of the Emily Taylor series have been waiting to find out about the secrets in her past. I haven't read the earlier books, but found this one easy to follow and involving on its own. Astolfo's detailed description in her second chapter of the 1980s crime scene is one of the most unique, shocking, and somehow fascinating I've ever read. It drew me in and kept me reading to find out more. I guarantee you will never forget the picture she paints of this murder.
This story is about more than solving a crime. It's about Emily's challenge to stride forward with strength and determination to change their lives for the better, which she likens to the Ojibwa legend of facing a seventh fire test where the world shifts and there is no one to serve as a guide. It's about loss and forgiveness and how Emily and Langford's persistence and love win out over adversity.
If you like a thrilling crime story with engaging characters who triumph over a long history of injustice, you will definitely enjoy this book.
Catherine takes us on a journey through different points of view from a mad artist to Native American rituals, and the bonds and sacrifices of family. Emily and Langford want to adopt their foster children and to do so must make the painful choice of disclosing Langford's past. As this was the first Emily Taylor mystery I've read, I had no insight into the protagonists' history. But Catherine developed her plot in a way that made that previous knowledge unnecessary. There are few mystery series that accomplish such a task. Her characters and setting are so engaging that I can't wait to go back and read the previous novels in her Emily Taylor series.
I highly recommend Seventh Fire to anyone who enjoys reading mystery plots with realistic (and sometimes macabre) characters and surprise endings. i.e. If you like Patterson and Grafton, you will love Seventh Fire.