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Officer Melanie Petersen is ticked to be relegated to investigating minor problems like a complaint at the local dump and securing a mausoleum that's been vandalized. She's the only female on the town's force, but that's no reason for the blatant sexism the chief exhibits every day. Is it because of her, or her military training? She doesn't know--or care--she just wants to be respected for the work she does. Then things change. The crypt smells horrid and a stone coffin with weird carvings is toppled and broken open. At the dump she finds half a body--half?-- completely drained of blood. When she surmises the two events are related, she places herself at the center of the investigation.
Dr. Steve Zoriak lives next door to Melanie, but they've only exchanged brief hellos and nods. When he happens to be at the dump when Melanie investigates a gory, murdered half-corpse, he lends his expertise. He knows no animal tore the body apart, but what did the damage, he can't imagine. As interesting as that mystery is, his sudden attraction to the female officer is greater. Her scent invades his senses until it takes all he can muster to keep from holding her close. He might have pursued that inclination--at a more appropriate time--if not for the secret that brought him to Rhodes End.
It soon becomes obvious that something in Rhodes End is evil and out for blood. It's associated with the stone casket in the mausoleum, and--somehow--with Steve, his enigma and the work he's doing in his basement. Other secrets come to light while Steve, Melanie and a cast of secondary characters track down the hunter who has emerged from an ancient time. Will they find a way to trap it and save the town? If so, will it make a difference in Steve's life--and thus in Melanie's?
I enjoyed this thriller with the underlying mystery. Ms. Edwards makes Melanie a little older than many heroines and a tough woman who appears non-feminine at first glance. It's only after delving into her character that we discover her true self. There's a lot to like about Melanie, and Steve, too, who's anxious about how his secret affects their budding relationship. Supporting characters, including the ancient persona from the past, are equally interesting and truly add to the story. ANCIENT AWAKENINGS is worth picking up.
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