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Disturbing the Dark: A Maggie MacGowen Mystery    by Wendy Hornsby Amazon.com order for
Disturbing the Dark
by Wendy Hornsby
Order:  USA  Can
Perseverance Press, 2016 (2016)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In Disturbing the Dark, Wendy Hornsby takes us to Normandy, France, where investigative filmmaker Maggie MacGowen assembled her film crew to document the agricultural four seasons. She is using the ancestral family farm where her Grand-mere lives a spry ninety-one year-old.

A bleak history is attached to the farm. Nazi soldiers occupied it while they stripped surrounding farms of their valuables. Led by Grand-mere, locals cut the soldiers' throats (all eighteen of them), and buried them in a field of turnips. Back to the present, where work with a bulldozer uncovers a skull and sets the whole community on edge. They recall the brutality of the times and want no memory of the war.

Then a member of the film crew is murdered and the past is brought to light. Persons wishing to make a quick euro appear hoping to buy memorabilia for resale, although anything with the Nazi symbol on it is illegal to own or sell.

A bedraggled German woman appears, claiming her father had been the commanding officer at the farmhouse during the war and that she wants anything that might have been left behind when he disappeared as a remembrance of her dear, sweet father. How dear and sweet he was is a matter of conjecture.

The relationship of one family member to the other is hard to follow. But no matter; the conviviality of the group living on the estate bring such a sense of solidarity, that I would love to be able to attend one of their family gatherings along with the wonderful food depicted. The descriptive words accompanying the plot make the original farmhouse come alive. Some of that brandy, hard cider, or wine would go well just about now.

Disturbing the Dark is the eleventh of the Maggie MacGowen series. I look forward to the twelfth.

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