Darker Than Desire
St. Martin's Paperbacks, Mar 3 2015, $7.99
Two decades ago David Sutter fled abuse in Madison, Indiana to hide amidst the welcoming Amish as Caine Yoder, taken in by Abraham who recently died. Though he feels unworthy of love, Caine is attracted to Sybil Chalmers. Even as she has own issues such as raising her sister’s nephew, Sybil has loved David ever since they first met ten years ago.
Motivated by a mission to shut down his late father’s Cronus Club permanently and feeling no longer needing to hide, David tells Sarah he is going home where half the town considers him a freak and the rest classify him a monster. In Madison, David visits old Max to learn the truth from the man who helped him flee twenty years ago and cleaned up the mess the then teen left behind. As he finds out more about his vile heritage, someone kills Max. Grieving for the old man, he misses and worries about his beloved Sybil and her ward. Still David adamantly refuses to act on his feelings knowing she deserves better than an emotional cripple like him.
The latest Secrets & Shadows novel (see Sweeter Than Sin and Deeper than Need) is the best entry so far (including three e-books) due to a profound firsthand look at the long term effect of paternal depravity on a teen victim. As before, this is not an easy read due to the subject matter though even more heart-wrenching than previous works. Even as the killer’s identity seems over the top of historic St. Michael the Archangel Church, Shiloh Walker authors a compelling romantic suspense that leaves readers once again to root for an HEA between two PTSD sufferers.