cover image In the Shadow of the River

In the Shadow of the River

Ann Gabhart. Revell, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-8007-4172-3

Gabhart (When the Meadow Blooms) delivers an atmospheric romance set on an 1890s showboat with plenty of secrets below deck. When Jacci Reed was five years old, an unknown assailant tried to kidnap her in a violent altercation that left her mother gravely injured. Before dying, Jacci’s mother turned her over to her grandfather, larger-than-life showboat actor Tyrone Chesser. Fifteen years later, Jacci loves her life on the showboat, where she acts alongside her grandfather and flirts with Gabe, the captain’s son. But Jacci has some unresolved questions about her past, and oddities keep cropping up—her grandfather cautions her not to use her last name on the boat’s playbill; a woman who uncannily resembles Jacci attends a performance. Jacci’s grandfather fills in some blanks about her childhood, leaving her more confused than ever and concerned her very presence could endanger others on the boat. (Her shifting feelings for Gabe throw another wrench into the works.) Jacci must draw on her faith in God to peel back the layers of the mystery of her past and find happiness. Supported by a cast of winning characters, this well-wrought mystery skillfully builds intrigue and doesn’t let up steam till the satisfying conclusion. Readers will be hooked. (May)