The Castle by Anne Montgomery #BookReview #TouchPointPress #4.5*

Ancient ruins, haunted memories, and a ruthless criminal combine with a touch of mystic presence in this taut mystery about a crime we all must address.

Maggie, a National Park Ranger, is back at the Castle – an ancient Native American pueblo carved into the face of a limestone cliff in Arizona.

Maggie, who suffers from depression, has been through several traumas: the gang rape she suffered while in the Coast Guard, the sudden death of her ten-year-old son, and a suicide attempt. As part of her therapy Maggie volunteers at the local rape crisis clinic.

Maggie has several men in her life. The baker, newcomer Jim Casey, always greets her with a warm smile and fills pink boxes with sweet delicacies. Brett Collins, a scuba diver, is doing scientific studies in Montezuma Well, a dangerous cylindrical depression that houses a deep spring filled with strange creatures found nowhere else on Earth. Then there’s Dave, with whom she’s had a one-night stand, and her new boss Glen.

One of these men is a serial rapist, and Maggie is his next target.

A Taut Mystery!

A suspenseful read with lots going on!

Maggie has never had to look far for her troubles; gang-rape and the death of her 10 year old son left her – unsurprisingly – depressed and attempting suicide. Trying to put it all behind her and get on with her life, Maggie is a National Park Ranger and is persuaded that volunteering at the rape crisis centre will aid her recovery. There are several men in Maggie’s life and one of them is a serial rapist; Maggie is his next target.

I warmed to Maggie very easily; she hasn’t had an easy life but she is still plodding along, trying not to let things get the better of her. She is completely unaware that she is being pursued by a rapist and, ramping up the tension, his identity is also unknown to the reader. Maggie has friends who make sure she socialises and doesn’t spend too much time on her own. She gets along with her co-workers, male and female. I’m not given to choosing books about rape, and please don’t be put off by the subject matter; this isn’t a book full of unsavoury details but rather a two-fold story – from both Maggie’s point of view and that of the unknown pursuer. Apart from the fact that he is a man, there are few other clues to his identity and I was convinced I had him worked out but, no, completely wrong! The suspense is palpable and it is, perhaps, a more reasonable portrayal of how this heinous crime affects women. With twists, turns and a few red herrings along the way, this is a well-written novel encompassing a difficult subject and author Anne Montgomery produces a very readable novel with a touch of believable magic which is very endearing. I appreciated the follow up in the final pages – I do like it when there is no abrupt ending! I would urge you to read the information provided by the author following the story – I learned a lot. Definitely one I recommend, and am happy to give 4.5*.

My thanks to the author for my copy; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: crime mystery, women’s fiction

Author Details

Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine
writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. Her first TV job came
at WRBL-TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC-TV in Rochester, New York,
KTSP-TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the
Emmy and ACE award-winning SportsCenter. She finished her on-camera broadcasting career
with a two-year stint as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery was a
freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and
archaeological pieces. Her previous novels are A Light in the Desert, The Scent of Rain, and Wild
Horses on the Salt. Montgomery taught journalism and communications at South Mountain High
School in Phoenix for 20 years. She is a foster mom to three sons, and spent 40 years officiating
amateur sports, including football, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball. When she can,
she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, musical theater, and playing her
guitar.

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