cover image Keeper of the Light

Keeper of the Light

Diane Chamberlain. HarperCollins Publishers, $22 (435pp) ISBN 978-0-06-017964-9

With her fourth novel (after Secret Lives ), Chamberlain spins an absorbing tale of romantic obsession and betrayal. Beautiful artist Annie O'Neill is known as St. Anne on North Carolina's Outer Banks for her selfless devotion to any cause that comes down the pike--she's even donated bone marrow to a stranger in need. Her murder leaves her husband, Alec, shattered. Also broken are Olivia Simon, the emergency room physician who tried to save her, and the good doctor's husband, Paul, who idolized the victim. To recapture Paul's love, Olivia begins to emulate Annie in every way, from learning the craft of stained glass to being a good Samaritan. Readers will long to shake the physician, as lovesick Paul is not worth her efforts; this is a man who tells his wife that he can make love to her only if he pretends that she is Annie. As exasperating as these characters are (chief among them the dead goddess), the novel's cache of dark secrets and hidden passions keeps the pages turning. An old lighthouse keeper's climactic revelation adds a final surprise. BOMC alternate. (Mar.)