By Mary Anna Evans
A 2003 release from
Poisoned Pen Press
A thriller with an angst-ridden, interesting female protagonist.
The protagonist in this interesting novel, Faye Longchamp, is a mixed-race single female who can usually pass in either camp, yet is clearly uncomfortable in both. Moreover, neither camp is welcoming. Consequently, Faye Longchamp, bright, ambitious, wary of entanglements, generally goes her own way.
She’s technically a squatter, living in the ruins of her ancestral home on a small island on the western coast of Florida, an area known as the panhandle. Title to the land is in question and her situation constantly grows more desperate as she tries to find the money to pay taxes and living expenses. She’s a pothunter as well as an experienced and well-trained archeologist. These conflicting elements of her life, as well as her personality and background, even more than her racial composure, raise conflicts and a considerable amount of angst on an almost daily basis. Then she unearths a body and two young interns on the professional dig where she is working are murdered.
The deaths close down the site and leave Faye without a job and therefore without income. Clever plotting takes the reader inside Faye’s life, inside her family history and through a compelling history lesson. Archeology is far more than the simple antiseptic study of old bones and former generational trash. Author Evans infuses vibrant life to the history of the region and the nation through the circumstances of one family. Her illumination of the region and its special characteristics is excellent. The story lines move with vitality and good pace.
Although there are a few to many coincidences in the plot for some readers, the lively characters, unique and fascinating locale and the competent writing carries us through
to a satisfactory conclusion.