This is Ms. Cameron's storytelling at its best. Unlike earlier books in this series, Cameron explores Emma's dark side. The book is very well crafted and a real page turner. I know most of us Emma Fielding fans are disappointed that there was little archeology in this episode. The tension, action, and inner turmoil makes up for the lack of interesting archeology. Cameron adds a new dimension and extra depth to Emma Fielding's character.
This mystery is okay; it's a quick read with no big surprises. The author makes some leaps of content, which is distracting at times, but still entertaining.
From Publishers Weekly
In the sixth Emma Fielding adventure (after More Bitter Than Death), things are looking up for the archeologist heroine: she has the job she's always wanted, a tenured professorship at a reputable college, the respect of her peers and, most importantly, the love and support of her husband, Brian. Fortunately for readers, this idyllic period in Emma's life doesn't last long. When a series of "pranks" begins to escalate around herâ"starting with an ominous postcard bearing only the message "soon," followed by strange, generous gifts to her parents in Emma's name, and turning quickly to arson and murderâ"Emma struggles to pin down the culprit, succumbing to marriage-straining paranoia and fear. Emma is convinced that a former colleague, Tony Markham, is responsible, a theory that would make senseâ"Tony, a psychopathic murderer, had tried to kill Emma four years previousâ"were he not already dead. With plenty of twists, a well-developed supporting cast and just enough recap to bring readers new to the series up to date without sacrificing momentum, Cameron has crafted a fine suspense thriller. (Aug.)
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Just when everything is going beautifully for archaeologist Emma Fielding -- a position at a respected university, a beautiful home in New England, and the warm love of a devoted husband -- her world starts to crumble. What begins as a series of seemingly innocent gestures -- the anonymous delivery of gifts and flowers to Emma's family and friends -- soon progresses to secret, sadistic acts designed to destroy her reputation, her character, and her career.
Someone has instituted a brilliantly insidious campaign of personal terror against Emma Fielding, and she is certain she knows who it is: a cunning and dangerous enemy whom everyone but she believes is dead. But with no proof, no clues, and no allies, Emma will have to fight alone in the dark to rescue a life being rapidly reduced to ashes . . . if she can survive long enough to do so.
This is the sixth entry in this series about archaeologist Emma Fielding. I bet it's been three years since I read the last one, so I didn't remember many of the plots from before. Cameron gives enough back story so you don't feel too lost, but unfortunately not quite enough to really understand the motives of the bad guy in this story.
In this outing, Emma is very uneasy because of a series of increasingly malicious pranks. She's sure this is the work of a former colleague, presumed dead after some dramatic events in previous books, who is out to get her for exposing his criminal actions. Much is made of Emma's growing paranoia and her sense that others think she's simply being silly, but the pranks escalate quickly enough that this tension can't be maintained for long. Cameron spends quite a lot of time in this book having Emma describe her fighting classes (Krav Maga), which was a little dull to me.
I am not sure that if I'd started with this one I would search out the rest. There is very little archaeology going on, which is what attracted me to the series at first. Emma is upset that no one believes her theory of events, but after a wild car chase in which she barely escapes, she then objects to her husband putting up security cameras around their house. It didn't feel rational to me, and I didn't get the sense that Emma is supposed to be irrational even under all the stress. We do get some payoff at the end for all the time spent on the fighting lessons. And I wondered how it was that a tenured university professor could skip so many classes or figure in so many odd events without attracting attention from the university president (or dean, whatever you call âem).
Still it's very readable, nicely paced with a lot of tension and a clear denouement, just not one of her best. I liked how we never really see the bad guy until the very end. I don't see a seventh in the series listed anywhere, but if and when one is published, I'll read it. Someone who hasn't read Cameron before should start with Site Unseen, the first in the series.