Friday, December 22, 2017

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

A Dangerous Legacy

Oh the feelings.
 Elizabeth Camden is one of those writers that keeps me coming back time and time again. Her historical research is always in depth and adds  a dimension and life to her books that cannot be improvised and her plots always leave this reader feeling satisfied (if not a little exhausted from reading all night).

A Dangerous Legacy is no exception in this regard. Camden plunges readers into a decades old family battle that draws it's inspiration from Jacob and Esau. While solidly a historical fiction, deftly exploring New York in the early 1900s Camden build her layers of interest and intrigue by wrapping  her characters  in undercover work, assassination plots, and unsavoury doctors.

Lucy was a heroine that was easy to root for. Her plucky spirit didn't seem forced as Camden allowed Lucy to ebb and flow as the situation needed. Her romantic element had a great sarcastic  edge and humour that just seemed appropriate to both parties and added another layer to two already delightful  characters.

As someone who's taken counselling classes it was also interesting and painful to peek into the  more corrupt corners of early psychiatric care. Again, this element picks up on Camden's ready skills with research and her ability to add elements that feel organic and not mere plot devices.

In case you can't tell I loved this book but I hesitate to classify it as Christian fiction which is worth noting for fans of the genre. While the family patriarchs draw inspiration from Jacob and Esau there is not a strong Christian message within the plot. The characters do mention faith (they go to church, pray on occasion,treat their plumbing skill as a God given gift ) but it feel more culturally appropriate given their time and social situation than a nod to the genre. For purists of the genre or those looking for a strongly influenced Christian book the lack of these elements could detract from the overall appeal of the book.

4 out of 5 stars

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

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