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Random House Arrow (Out of Print)
When Shadows Fall -- a combination love story, historical novel, and ghost story -- makes enjoyable holiday reading.  

Distressed by the death of her husband, beautiful former actress Kate O'Hara travels to Tasmania on her psychiatrist's orders to escape her problems. Kate feels responsible for her husband's death and uncertain about whether she wants to continue her career as an actress.  

In Tasmania she stays in an old stone, riverside cottage in the country, near the small village of Leeward. In the cottage, she hears mysterious footsteps in the night and the sound of oars on the deserted river, and starts to believe the cottage is haunted. Soon Kate finds herself transported to the 19th century, and staying with Devlin, a reformed convict and the cottage's former owner. She falls in love with Devlin and helps him in his struggle to save his convict friend, Danny, still in prison under the charge of the evil Cromarty.  

From the history of the Leeward, Kate knows that many prisoners escaped when a terrible fire occurred at the prison, and that after this Devlin disappeared. But how will Kate's presence on the scene affect this story and its ending?  

The story's main characters are well-drawn and attractive, especially the handsome Irishman, Devlin. Kate's desire to escape the stress of modern day life lends credibility to her actions. 

The book's main strength -- its unusually exciting story -- makes it hard to put down. Sommers taut writing style finesses most of the plot cliches, though this reviewer did find the ending a little silly. If you can overlook the ending, however, you'll find When Shadows Fall a light, interesting read that recaptures the exciting atmosphere of Tasmania's convict days well.  

Lisa-Anne Sanderson

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