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Roots of Evil

by Sarah Rayne

      Lucy Trent works for a film distribution company that searches out and releases old and obscure movies. This is a perfect job for her as she is the grandchild of Lucretia von Wolff, a famous Viennese silent screen actress from the early 1920's.

But Lucretia’s fame was the result not only of her screen work but of the way she lived and died. Lucretia had numerous lovers, caused many scandals and died in a bizarre double murder and suicide on the set of the film she was working on.

Lucy is used to the story of her grandmother being resurrected from time to time, and is not surprised when a young woman comes to her claiming to have unearthed new information that would shed new light on the case.

She asks about the child named Alraune, supposedly Lucretia's illegitimate child. Alraune was said to be named after Lucretia’s most famous film and was said to be a child born bad. Lucy’s Aunt Deborah calls Alraune ‘a child born evil’ but there is no evidence that she even existed

As the story progresses, the young woman investigating the cases is found brutally murdered, in a manner reminiscent of Lucretia’s death and on the site of the now defunct studio.

Lucy digs further into her grandmother’s past and finds that the secrets began in the concert halls of Vienna, followed Lucretia into the War torn world of Auschwitz, and continues into present time. Can she discover the secrets of her grandmother’s sordid past and whether the mysterious Alraune ever existed?

This book covered many years and had a great many twists and turns. It kept me on my toes but I did enjoy it.

The Book

Simon and Schuster
April 1st, 2006
Psychological Thriller
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The Reviewer

Susan Johnson
Reviewed 2006
© 2006