FLAME IN THE DARK (Soulwood #3)
December 5, 2017
The Soulwood series is an offshoot of Faith Hunter's urban fantasy Jane Yellowrock series, set in the same world and featuring some of the same characters. The difference between the two heroines is profound, however. Soulwood's Nell Ingram is a hill woman raised in a polygamous fundamentalist cult, God's Cloud of Glory Church. Women of the church are second class citizens, no strangers to terror and abuse. Nell is a young widow who has left the church, starting over away from her family who remains there. She lives close by on the property that her late husband willed to her. The church does not like that, and previous books have covered the conflict. Nell has an unusual ability; a marked affinity with the land and the plants and animals who live on it. PsyLED, the division of Homeland Security that deals with paranormal crimes got wind of her through Jane Yellowrock and recruited her into their ranks, made up of were-creatures, witches, empaths, and other paranormal creatures.
Nell is now fully integrated into PsyLED Unit 18 after months of intensive training. The unit is assigned to investigate the attempted murder of a Senator, resulting in multiple deaths and a devastating fire. Since the shooter literally disappeared, it is deemed a paranormal crime. As the bodies pile up and fires continue, Unit 18 can't decide whether it is a turf war between paranormals or something even more nefarious. Nell's ability to "read" the land around the Senator's mansion helps them to discover what they are up against. It is frightening and dangerous to all.
Nell Ingram is a unique character, smart, strong, compassionate, determined and possessed of a power of which even she doesn't know the limits. She has come such a long way from the first Soulwood novel, Blood in the Earth. She will never go back to the church but loves her family and has gained acceptance in their ranks. There is even a romance for her among her colleagues that I was afraid ended in tragedy, but Hunter didn't leave us hanging on that!
I highly recommend both Jane Yellowrock and the Soulwood series. I know that I will be re-reading (or listening to the audiobook) before the next is out. Many thanks to NetGalley and Ace Books for an advance digital copy. The opinions are my own.
RATING- 5 Stars