Thursday, October 9, 2014

Each Shining Hour: A Novel of Watervalley by Jeff High

Each Shining Hour: A Novel of Watervalley - Book #2. Jeff High.  NAL Trade.  October 2014. 432 pp.  ISBN#: 9780451419279.

Luke is the local doctor in Watervalley, a lovely town in Tennessee.  He arrived with a three year contract which guaranteed his medical school loan would be paid off. For that trade off, he gave up his dream of doing medical research and working in a large city; but the time he’s lived here has endeared him to the locals and them to him.  Now we welcome some new and old characters in this second book of the series plus an addition to the plot of a complex mystery.

Connie is Luke’s housekeeper/cook/confidante.  Her sister, Estelle, arrives with huge plans to open a bakery in a historic, beautiful building but there’s a mystery and several secrets associated with this place.  It’s also said to be haunted as a terrible crime occurred right outside this place, involving the owner Oscar Fox and another man.  Both murdered each other but no one really knows what sparked the deadly finale of their lives.  Luke becomes fascinated by this mystery and sets out to learn more, with the assistance of his on-and-off-again girlfriend, Christine, and an older man who’s become a trusted friend, John.  There are those who fight Luke on every turn but “a diamond” is the first clue to begin an intriguing search for the exposure of secrets and the truth to emerge.

Meanwhile, Luke gets a new nurse and continues working his medical magic on the people of Watervalley.  His bedside manner is phenomenal; and he never hides the truth but always conveys it with sensitivity and compassion. 

Estelle’s bakery dreams get thrown off for a brief time and the characters exhibit great humor and skills in getting past this huge obstacle.  The “bad guys” do get theirs, you know (tongue in cheek indeed)!

Jeff High has improved his writing in this second Watervalley novel.  The plot has just enough homey dialogue, genteel romance, brutal crime, intriguing mystery and an overall sense of reality in small-town living that never stops being endearing and gripping enough to make one want to keep reading without stopping!  Very nicely crafted, Jeff High!

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