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The Shadowy Horses    by Susanna Kearsley order for
Shadowy Horses
by Susanna Kearsley
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2012 (1997)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Elizabeth Crowley

Archaeologist Verity Grey is lured to Scotland, invited to join a once in a lifetime archaeological dig. She throws caution to the wind and leaves her London job at the British Museum in order to join the dig in the town of Eyemouth. But everything is not what it seems, and soon Verity will find herself longing for the safety of her boring old job as her new one takes her into uncharted territory where she can no longer distinguish reality from imagination.

When Verity arrives in Eyemouth, she learns the mysterious dig involves excavation of what might be the Ninth Legion, an army of Roman soldiers dating to the time of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Thousands of years later, the fate of the doomed Ninth Legion continues to baffle historians. Verity is thrilled at the chance to join the historic dig. However, soon lies surrounding the dig begin to unravel. Verity discovers that she was brought to Eyemouth under false pretenses.

Just when Verity vows to not be party to what appears to be the scam of a lifetime, young Robbie provides a much more tantalizing reason for her to stay. Reputed to be highly psychic, Robbie regales Verity with stories of the Legion soldier who frequently makes his appearances near the dig. Although Verity tries to dismiss these stories as the product of an overly active imagination, a constant feeling of being watched, along with other strange occurrences at Rosehill House, can no longer be denied.

Susanna Kearsely paints an atmospheric portrait as she transports Verity and readers into the Scottish wilderness. The mysterious dig will appeal to those who adore a good mystery. The Shadowy Horses is written in the style of a Dan Brown novel. However, I was disappointed that the ghostly Roman soldier did not make an appearance until the middle of the novel. Even then, there are only a few brief glimpses of him. There were also too many romantic entanglements which seemed at times to consume the novel.

Though I would have enjoyed the novel more if the focus had stayed on the dig and the ghost, I still loved Kearsely's atmospheric writing. Reading The Shadowy Horses will make readers feel as if they are being transported into the middle of nowhere in Scotland.

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