On a hot July afternoon, a worker at an Antietam Creek construction site drives the blade of his backhoe into a layer of soil-and strikes a 5,000-year-old human skull. The discovery draws plenty of attention and a lot of controversy. It also changes the life of Callie Dunbrook in ways she never thought possible.
An an archaeologist, Callie knows a lot about the past. But her own past is about to be called into question. Recruited for her expertise on the Antietam Creek dig, she encounters danger-as a cloud of death and misfortune hangs over the project, and rumors fly that the site is cursed. She finds a passion that is equally dangerous, as she joins forces in her work with her with her irritating but irresistible ex-husband, Jake. And when a strange woman approaches her claiming to know a secret about Callie's privleged Boston childhood, some startling and unsettling questions are raised about her very identity.
This report prepared by Boppy
Putnam, April 2003, 25.95, 480 pp.
In an innocuous mall, a mother comforts her three-year-old son taking her eyes off her three-month-old daughter, when someone kidnaps the baby. Twenty-nine years later Suzanne Cullen watches a TV news clip about a Maryland archeological dig when she instantly recognizes her daughter, the site's archeologist Callie Dunbrook. When Suzanne makes contact with Callie, the forensic archeologist is sure the woman is lying because she knows she is not adopted.
Suzanne plants just enough doubt in Callie's mind for her to sneak into her father's private files where she is shocked to see the adoption papers. Her parents swear that they adopted her in good faith through a lawyer who specialized in private adoptions. Callie vows that she will find the people connected to the black market scheme and expose them. Her ex-husband Jake is backing her all the way. There are some people who want the past to stay buried and are perfectly willing to kill to make that happen.
Nora Roberts has written a very creative romantic suspense thriller where innocent bystanders having nothing to do with the black market adoption scam are killed; thus adding a touch of authenticity to the taut plot. The heroine and her ex-husband, who are slowly working their way back to each other, realize that some amoral person lacking any conscience is using misdirection to confuse and wear them down. Callie is a strong resilient woman who bends but never breaks even when the shocks and traumas keep happening. BIRTHRIGHT is a splendid drama that cannot be put down until the finale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner