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A Dark Dividing    by Sarah Rayne Amazon.com order for
Dark Dividing
by Sarah Rayne
Order:  USA  Can
Felony & Mayhem, 2011 (2004)
Hardcover, Softcover, Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Journalist Harry Fitzglen is to report on the opening of a glittering new art gallery in Bloomsbury, England. Not quite his cup of tea, but the assignment picks up when he meets photographer Simone Anderson. While her photos are strangely compelling, her story is even more so.

Simone's identical twin has disappeared. Not only disappeared, but she's not spoken of. In 1900, Harry learns, female identical twins also disappeared and were not spoken of! The twins' mother leaves a diary behind, and Harry is able to track her and the twins to a very surprising ending.

But, wait. Simone and her twin Sofia also have a fascinating story with a big bang ending. A haunting, derelict workhouse finds itself twined around the plot. The story twists and turns between the present day and the 1900s. Be sure to keep track of whom the author writes. In a hurry to turn the pages to see what's next, one can easily lose context. It's well worth the effort.

And when reading of the workhouse, Mortmain Dead Hand keep the room well lit. You won't want any shadows. A Dark Dividing reeks of writers the likes of Charles Dickens or Charlotte Bronte, but with a modern day kick. And it's very hard to put down.

The author, dubbed the Queen of Darkness in England, makes her U.S. debut with this novel. I am sure she will pick up a lot of new fans on this side of the water.

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