Gwen Hunter, Author . Mira $6.50 (384p) ISBN 978-1-55166-669-3

Fans of Hunter's resilient E.R. doctor, Rhea Lynch, will relish this return to rural Dawkins County, S.C., but new readers may be confused by the author's heavy handed allusions to her previous books (Prescribed Danger, etc.). When Rhea sees a van slam into a pole, she springs into action and rescues two girls, both of whom show signs of having sustained serious abuse prior to the accident. The faint of heart won't make it past this dramatic opening (at one point, Rhea amputates a limb with a hacksaw), but those who do will be drawn into the mystery surrounding faith healer DaraDevinna, who recently pitched a tent in town. Thanks to Dara, a quadriplegic regains feeling in her extremities, but many other people develop seizures after their "treatments." Tension mounts when Rhea learns that, as healers, she and Dara may be in danger. The girls from the van are self-taught practitioners of black magic, and they plan to avenge their father's abuse by stirring up a spell that calls for a set of "healing hands." Hunter's descriptions of life-saving medical procedures will hold E.R. fans riveted, but Rhea's frequent philosophizing impedes the narrative. A tacked-on resolution and an unresolved romance will frustrate those unaware that this is part of a series, but readers accustomed to Hunter's open-ended tales will eagerly await the next installment. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/20/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-62268-024-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-7106-0
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