Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blood Vines-Erica Spindler

Blood Vines
Erica Spindler
St. Martin’s, Mar 2 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312363925

She earns a living as a San Francisco bartender while working on her thesis and insuring her bi-polar mom Patsy stays on her meds. However, one day Alexandra Clarkson finds Patsy dead from an overdose. She notices that her mother was reading about the mummified remains of a baby found in Sonoma Valley and calls Violent Drime Investigator Daniel Reed to learn more as he was the last known person to speak to Patsy before she committed suicide.

Daniel tells Alex that they used to play around together when her mother was married to Valley winemaker Harlan Sommer. When Harlan and Patsy’s his infant son Dylan disappeared, his brother took over the winery. Alex is stunned as she does not recall ever living in Sonoma; for that matter she does not know who her father is either. Needing to obtain closure Alex moves to Sonoma after the cops identify the corpse as Dylan. However she begins to suffer nightmares that might be repressed memories of cowled figures, a baby screaming, the scent of saddlewood and a sende of being trapped in the caves where the wine is stored. Dan and his stepsister Rachel watch over Alex who obsessively tries to get answers. Witnesses are killed, but when someone close to her is murdered, the cops suspect Alex as does her lover Dan.

Readers who like the romantic suspense of Nora Roberts and Karen Robards will thoroughly enjoy Erica Spindler’s fabulous thriller. The stars of this solid romantic mystery both seek the truth as to what happened years ago. Additionally, the beleaguered heroine fears she a chip off the maternal block as she feels she must be as crazy as her late mom was; yet she refuses to quit as she displays strength and fortitude with an obsessive need to see the inquiry through to the end. Alex refuses to allow people to run her off so skeletons remain buried as one of them was her baby brother.

Harriet Klausner

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