by Charlotte Hughes

December 2004 Reissue
ISBN: 0-380-78453-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

I know that many people complain about books being reissued. I however love it! It gives me the chance to either discover a new author, or to glom an authorís backlist. In this particular case Iím getting to both! The book to which Iím referring is And After That, The Dark by Charlotte Hughes.

Almost from the first words of And After That, The Dark I was hooked! I used every opportunity I had to read, and the rest of the world was just going to have to wait.

Emily Wilkop was a very young girl when she became the eyewitness to a gruesome murder. Later the man Emily saw commit the murder was convicted and sent to jail for another robbery and attempted murder. Now, Frank Gillespie has been released from jail, and Emily is nervous about his return to their hometown.

Emily is not only concerned about the impact Frank might have on her life, but is also trying to raise her deceased sisterís young daughter Molly. Molly in her few years on life has seen and experienced more things than many mature adults. The most unimaginable being the discovery of her motherís lifeless body hanging from the attic rafters. Almost needless to say Molly is an emotional teenage girl, and when mysterious things start happening at their home Molly starts becoming withdrawn.

Emily is frantic with worry about her niece and the mind games that sheís convinced Frank is playing with her. Sheís convinced heís out to get her for having witnessed the murder he committed all those years ago. She is trying to be a one woman campaign for having his parole reversed, and getting him sent back to jail.

Clinton Ward is Frankís parole officer. Heís not convinced that Frank is Emilyís tormentor, and tries hard to convince her that sheís wrong. Clinton and Emily butt heads at almost every turn, but when the ante is upped, and things are speeding out of Emilyís control she does allow Clinton to help.

Now sparks are rumors regarding Emily and Clintonís relationship are flying fast and furious. The stalker has hiked things up to another level, and Emily is more determined than ever to get the man and settle back into her normal life.

Ms. Hughes says that this book was originally published as a mystery. That being the case it just goes to prove my point that there are few books written that donít have a romantic element to them.

And After That, The Dark is sure to tingle your spine, and warm your heart. Iím personally glad that Ms. Hughes other books, Night Kills, Valley of the Shadow,/b> are resting comfortably in my TBR.

Reviewed in January 2005 by Sandi.

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