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Publisher: Baycrest Books
Release Date: October 2004
ISBN: 0-9728450-4-6
Format Reviewed: Advance Review Copy
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Genre:   Contemporary Romance/ Paranormal
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Sheila Griffin

Reviewer Notes: Holiday Mentioned: Pagan Holiday of Samhain on October 31

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The Dark Plain
By Sloan St. James

     Jack Wolfe lost his three-year-old son, Conner, to a genetic disease. Jack blames himself. In his mind, Jack is a murderer. He plans one last visit to Ireland before killing himself.

      Jack is met at the airport by Cala McCoy. This beautiful young woman is a friend of his Aunt Kaite. Cala will drive him to the village of Tirnageata to visit his aunt.

     In Tirnageata they still follow the old ways. They believe strongly in reincarnation. Jack has returned in time for the Samhain celebration. Cala urgently explains the pagan beliefs to Jack during the days before the celebration. Should she fail to convince him of the validity of the belief, bad karma will follow Jack into yet another lifetime.

      After Jack arrives, Kaite's neighbors come to welcome Jack. Everyone is friendly except for Michael Donegal. He is still holding a grudge from a childhood fight he had with Jack.

     Jack sees Cala dancing with Michael and is suddenly consumed with rage! He must kill Michael! Just as suddenly, the rage subsides, as if it had never happened. Jack wonders if he is losing his mind.

     That night Jack has a horrible nightmare. He awakens, trembling and drenched in sweat.

      The next day Cala takes Jack sightseeing. At a nearby castle she tells him of a brutal slaughter that took place here. Jack shivers as she describes his dream down to the last detail.

     Some say that Tirnageata is a gateway between the living and the dead. Jack has never believed such nonsense, but as he begins experiencing visions, he begins to wonder.

      As Jack and Cala spend more and more time together, Michael's hatred grows. Cala is the leader of the clan. Michael craves Cala's power. If he can find a way to get rid of Jack, Michael will claim her as his own. Michael will finally assume his rightful place.

      Although some of the rituals and beliefs are a little confusing, overall this is a good book. It will be interesting to read future works by this talented new author.