Friday, August 12, 2011

Falling Into Fate by J.M. Dragon

Publisher:                     Intaglio Publications

Do you believe in spirits?  Lorna Hirste does and it put her in a mental hospital.

Lorna believes she hears voices that tell her which tombstones are going to be desecrated and she has to go to cemeteries to protect them.  Unfortunately, that led to an accidental killing and Lorna being unfairly confined for fifteen years.  Jenny Price donates time from her law practice to correct cases like Lorna's and, when she is able to obtain Lorna's release, Jenny feels responsible for helping her client to readjust to regular life.  Susan Stark is a newspaper reporter and simply wants to write what appears to be an interesting story, if she can just get around Jenny's protective instincts.  Susan and Jenny are drawn to each other despite their constant sparring and find themselves involved in an investigation of Lorna's abilities.  When Susan has an opportunity to report from the frontlines in Afghanistan, the forced distance makes Jenny and Stark reassess their relationship.  Both of them have been robbed of their ability to trust in other people and what happens to Stark in the war won't help. 

Falling Into Fate has a number of interesting threads in the story.  It starts with an investigation into the paranormal, but it doesn't stop there.  Other threads include the responsibility of the press, the damages that can be done to people in relationships and the tragic costs of the war in Afghanistan.  The threads twine together to create a story that is engrossing and well told.  It's not that one part of the story is more compelling than another or that the characters are more unusual than in any other book.  It's the way the pieces blend to tell the story that makes the book worth reading.  Take any one of them out and it's a lesser story, but in this context the result is greater than the sum of its parts.

JM Dragon is an experienced writer and it shows in this book.  Falling Into Fate is probably her best effort so far.  Dragon has paced the story very well and allows the relationships to develop slowly and in a realistic manner.  It's also nice to read about two women who are mature in how they deal with issues and not the giddy or silly characters that seem prevalent today.  This is a book that delivers the value of the price it costs in the story it tells.

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