Haunt of the Nightingale

John R. Riggs, Author Dembner Books $15.95 (190p) ISBN 978-0-934878-97-5
The fourth novel featuring Garth Ryland is both another evocative portrait of small-town life and a haunting mystery. Ryland, editor of the weekly Oakalla (Wis.) Reporter, finds a young woman hiding in his barn. She turns out to be Annie Lawson, who was once married to a local preacher, a cruel man heartily disliked by most of the community. Ryland's oldest friend, Will Cripe, had been in love with Annie, as had musician and church organist Paul Peters. Years before, the Lawsons disappeared, presumably having left town. Later, Annie was found and, suffering from amnesia, subsequently spent several years in a state institution. Now that she is back in Oakalla, still with little memory of her past there, the men who had loved her try to offer protection. But someone is out to hurt Annie. Rev. Sommerville Cooper of Fair Haven Church, where Charles Lawson had preached, reports strange happenings there. Then two murders occur. With the aid of his doughty housekeeper, Ruth Krammes, Ryland tries to decipher the clues from the past to save Annie as danger closes in on her. Or, is she the danger? Riggs writes with quiet, unsentimental understatement as he evokes memorable characters caught in credible situations. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 186 pages - 978-0-515-10953-5
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